Lalo, Bruch & Mendelssohn Piano Trios - Petrof Piano Trio

The PETROF TRIO originated from an idea of the violinist of the Wihan Quartet, Jan Schulmeister, in 2009. Its members are prestigious chamber players, who bring years of concert experience and also youthful energy to their concert programmes. In the same year that it was formed, the ensemble became the resident trio of the PETROF Company, who wanted to associate its tradition and quality with top-level concert artists. The trio’s repertoire includes pieces from composers from the early classics to impressionism (Haydn, Mozart, Schumann, Brahms, Dvořák, Lalo, Fauré, Debussy, etc.). The ensemble also enriches its repertoire with compositions from the 20th and 21st centuries.

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"What immediately strikes me about the Petrof Trio is the strength of their unity. They certainly play with conviction and character. The music is revealed naturally with clarity and crispness."  Michael Cookson,

"The Petrof Piano Trio, resident ensemble of the Czech piano company Petrof, was formed in 2009. But its members – violinist Jan Schulmeister, cellist Kamil Zvak and pianist Martina Schulmeisterova – play like old hands (Schulmeister is a long- standing member of the Wihan String Quartet). The main work here is the 20-year-old Mendelssohn’s D minor, the sometimes whirlwind outer movements given with thrust, blend and clarity; the sentiment and lightness of the central movements also nicely characterised. The trio bring a weight to the two other rarely heard trios by young men (Bruch’s written at 19, Lalo's at 27) that might surprise in works you’re unlikely to have heard." Michael Dervan, Irish Times

'A lovely CD, highly recommended, well worth buying!

The programme contains a well-loved work by Mendelssohn and two comparative rarities which have much to commend them. particularly the Lalo. The sound and balance is very good.

The Lalo is a revelation. Here is a French composer whose music is not French but rather Germanic. The opening Allegro Moderato begins with an expressive cello solo which is a memorable melody . The theme is well used and developed and the cello has the lions share of the music but the other players contribute to this coherent music. The second movement, Romance starts with a very attractive cello solo and the violin enters over a rippling piano part. There is a good contrast when the cello is briefly played pizzicato over a staccato piano.The scherzo is light hearted and joyful. The music is infectious and the theme is varied. There are a few stunning piano passages. The finale begins with a recitative from the cello. The music is well integrated. The final pages are sheer delight.

The Mendelssohn is a delight and, as he did not live until he was forty years of age , he has, in his short life, some truly wonderful works. His Piano Concertos are not given the scope they deserve and his chamber works are of the highest quality ; the Octet is a marvel and I adore the E minor quartet. The theme of the opening movement, first heard on the cello, is unmistakably gorgeous. The Andante tranquillo, set in B flat, is telling and the scherzo marked Leggiero e vivace in D major is a typical Mendelssohn scherzo. No one else has ever written music like this. The finale, Allegro assai appassionato is in D minor and brings this amazing gem to a glorious end.' David C F Wright -, 2013

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