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Ravel: Trio / Debussy: Sonatas for Violin & Cello

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 14, 1995
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Product Details

  • Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy, Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell
  • Composer: Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy
  • Audio CD (November 14, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: London / Decca
  • ASIN: B00000426M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,567 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
From the point of view of 'quality' there is very little about this recital to criticise. Technically these players are top-notch, they show sensitivity as well as power and intellectual comprehension, they do nothing wilful or questionable, and the recorded sound they are given is very good. All the same, I would have liked a little more atmosphere and magic in a great deal of this music. I missed these factors especially in the first movement of the Ravel, but it is not until the final piece on the disc, Debussy's cello sonata, that the performance came somewhere close to how I like the thing ideally.

I have to confess that I often find Ashkenazy's playing, for all his tremendous endowment, just a little ordinary. That sense is with me here again, and it seems to have slightly infected Perlman as well. The recital opens with Ravel's wonderful trio, and in the right performance there is a real frisson about the cool and poised theme at the start. I have an elderly vinyl LP of the work played by the Trio di Trieste whose players, though easily proficient enough, are not quite in the same technical bracket as the three giants here, nor is their sound as recorded nearly as good as it is in this modern set. However as soon as they make a sound I start to detect the special effect I'm looking for, the sense of feyness that often goes along with Ravel's elegance and perfectionism. In welcome contrast to that, there is also a feeling of excitement in the main climaxes, both the one near the start and particularly when that pellucid opening theme returns with startling power and fullness of tone in the middle of the movement. By comparison, Ashkenazy Perlman and Harrell come across to me as very correct but just a bit worthy and earthbound.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is a stupendous recording. One that I will always enjoy listening to forever. It is full of nuance and virtuous tic playing. Bravo!
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