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Brahms, Johannes / Piano Trios (Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, Yo-Yo Ma), The
Album:Piano Trios (Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, Yo-Yo Ma), The Collection:Classical
Artist:Brahms, Johannes Added:10/2017
Label:Sony Classical 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2017-10-29 Pull Date:2017-12-31 Charts:Classical/Experimental
Week Ending:10 Dec12 Nov5 Nov

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Album Review
Gary Lemco
Reviewed 2017-10-29 
The 1880-1882 Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 87, presents a lean, economical style. Cross-rhythms infiltrate the first mvmt. The Andante con moto looks to Beethoven’s example, given a melody of Hungarian, gypsy flavor. The C minor Scherzo: Presto allows Brahms his Goethe or Mendelssohn moment. The Finale: Allegro giocoso takes its model from Haydn, combining a rondo-sonata form with a penchant for variations that alternate legato and staccato motion. The last page shimmers in jubilation.
Brahms’s C minor Trio, Op. 101 (1887), opens Allegro energico, bursting outward. One biographer labels the affect “explosive wrath.” Something serpentine permeates the mood of the Presto non assai. The Trio section contributes more stealth, especially in the combination of the strings against the block-chord keyboard. Brahms tests his musicians’ rhythmic gifts with a C major Andante grazioso that indulges irregular metrics in 7/4 and later 15/8, breaking the pulse into five triplet groups. The Allegro molto finale returns to the storm of the first mvmt.
Brahms was not happy with his first conception of his 1854 B Major Trio, Op. 8, and so he revised it drastically in 1889. The opening Allegro con brio emerges both passionate and muscular, often touched by elements of edgy melancholy. The counter theme comes from the revision, Brahms having excised the original. The Scherzo remains the 1854 version, with a jaunty outer section that quite gallops ahead. The middle section gains power in the sizzling tremolandi figures from the strings. The wistful last page dissolves in a shifting sea of rapture. Brahms left his poignant Adagio alone, given its natural, songful expression. The last mvmt reverses expectation, ending a major-key piece in the minor mode.

Track Listing
1.Piano Trio No. 2 In C Major, Op. 87: 1. Allegro (9:51) 7.Piano Trio No. 3 In C Minor, Op. 101: 3. Andante Grazioso (4:06)
2.Piano Trio No. 2 In C Major, Op. 87: 2. Andante Con Moto (8:04) 8.Piano Trio No. 3 In C Minor, Op. 101: 4. Allegro Molto (5:39)
3.Piano Trio No. 2 In C Major, Op. 87: 3. Scherzo: Presto (4:48) 9.Piano Trio No. 1 In B Major, Op. 8: 1. Allegro Con Brio (14:34)
4.Piano Trio No. 2 In C Major, Op. 87: 4. Finale: Allegro Giocoso (6:11) 10.Piano Trio No. 1 In B Major, Op. 8: 2. Scherzo: Allegro Molto (6:31)
5.Piano Trio No. 3 In C Minor, Op. 101: 1. Allegro Energico (7:28) 11.Piano Trio No. 1 In B Major, Op. 8: 3. Adagio (8:30)
6.Piano Trio No. 3 In C Minor, Op. 101: 2. Presto Non Assai (3:52) 12.Piano Trio No. 1 In B Major, Op. 8: 4. Finale: Allegro (6:46)