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Ravel, Fauré & Debussy Trios



These four works, by perhaps the three most commanding figures in French music in the early part of the 20th century, were all composed within the space of eight years, and are among their composers’ definitive contributions to the chamber music genre. In their different ways, each has an autobiographical element, while transcending mere personal details to produce utterances that remain haunting in their universality.

Ravel, Fauré & Debussy Trios


"This well-planned disc effectively makes an entire recital and the four broadly contemproaneous French masterpieces chosen receive excellent performances, each well balanced in terms of recording quality... Performances of the standard on this disc are not acheived overnight; the playing both Sonatas is alive and concentrated fro Hagai Shaham and Raphael Wallfisch respecitely, and they are admirably partnered by this outstanding pianist (Arnon Erez), a truly fine chamber musician" International Record Review

'The Recording is excellent, with Raphael Wallfisch's pianissimos to die for.' Performance ***** Recording ***** BBC Music Magazine

'A superbly played collection of French Duos and Trios from a starry ensemble' The Strad Magazine

This well planned disc makes an entire recital and the four broadly contemporaneous French masterpieces chosen receive excellent performances, each well balanced in terms of recording quality...It is the energy and positive approach to Ravel's chamber masterpiece which are so impressive here, their concept of the work convincing at every level. Faure's very late Trio receives an equally fine account, full of an impressive sense of inner forward momentum...This is chamber music-making of high quality throughout. Robert Matthew-Walker, International Record Review, November 2013

'To sum up: we have a disc with four superb examples of chamber music from three of the giants of early twentieth century French music. They make for a wonderful programme. The trio of musicians playing here are brilliant exponents of this kind of repertoire in which rapport is the essential ingredient and which they demonstrate to perfection. If there are still people who are either unfamiliar with these works or who simply don’t yet own them then they could do no better than snap this disc up and wallow in some of the most fabulous chamber music ever written.' Steve Arloff, MusicWeb

 'These fine players bring a special magic to this music. They are beautifully recorded with the balance of these artists finely done. A lot of fine chamber music recordings come my way but I was really taken by this one which shouldn’t be missed.' The Classical Reviewer

A loving celebration of old virtues "They are among the most prominent solo-virtuosos of our time: Hagai Shaham, Raphael Wallfisch and Arnon Erez. They play with the most famous orchestras and under the greatest conductors. But the message, that they have since a few years also been around as a really wonderful chamber music trio, still hasn't quite reached everywhere yet. … Here at last we have an ensemble consisting of three Stars who, when together as a trio, still make a gorgeous impression. It's pure bliss to listen to these three musicians and the way they are utterly together through their trio: Play and let play, could be the motto of this CD. Here, every single player is allowed to radiate brilliance and yet, at the same time, each player knows how to hold back, totally supporting the music and its interpretation. This recording is a blessing because it brings back some old virtues, like the art of listing to each other, the art of breathing together and the art of taking the time for interpretational concepts, for the right swing, which then seems to be carrying the musicians together on a wave. … As a comparison for the Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch it's the Beaux Arts Trio that comes to mind immediately, which really says it all: conservative, possibly a little old-fashioned, but utterly soulful, with great empathy and simply impossible to criticise, referring to both playing-technique and intonation. … this recording, of four undisputed masterpieces from the 20th century French chamber music repertoire, in an old-fashioned but absolutely perfect performance, is a recording that sets the mark. May we have many more like this one please!" Rainer Aschemeier, 2nd August 2013.

'This delightful tranche of French chamber music opens with an exquisite account of Ravel’s 1914 Piano Trio. The first movement is delicate and precious, the staccato of the ‘Pantoum’ second movement is bone dry, punctuated with lush outbursts, the Passacaille is bleak and inexorable, and the finale builds to impressive grandeur. It’s a wonderful performance, and each movement in its way is a masterclass in pace and fluid structure. It is already a hard act to follow.

The opening of Debussy’s Cello Sonata is unsettling and emotionally eloquent – Raphael Wallfisch opens up a private world, with Arnon Erez in discreet support (Erez is superb throughout). He navigates Debussy’s mercurial mood swings, his excursions into the grotesque and the ecstatic, with narrative flair, at once suave and intimate. In the Violin Sonata, Hagai Shaham produces clean, unfussy playing, cool but seductive. The second movement trips along happily, with many a sly portamento to balance the dry eccentricities, and the finale has a kind of debonair authority, straightforward and ebullient.

Together again, the players capture the strange landscape of Fauré’s Piano Trio, with its strong musical purpose and other-worldliness. The slow movement is sublime, the finale robust and energetic. The recorded balance between the players in all their various formations is exemplary.' Tim Homfray, The Strad, August 2013