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  • Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50 / Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 8
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Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50 / Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 8

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Audio CD, May 8, 1990
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Product Details

  • Performer: Chung Trio
  • Composer: Peter I. Tchaikovsky, Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (May 8, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol / EMI
  • ASIN: B00000DNM0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530,464 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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I hadn't realized until reading the bios of the Chung Trio how exceptionally gifted these siblings were. Violinist Kyung-wha has tended to overshadow the fact that her sister, cellist Myung-wha, won the Geneva Competition and her pianist brother, Myung-whun, now a prominent conductor, won the silver medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition. they need both assurance and virtuosity to carry off Tchaikovsky's dazzling Piano Trio in A minor. It was written in memory of a famous Russian pianist, Nikolay Rubinstein, and to balance the florid, passionate piano part, Tchaikovsky asks for the two strings to play on a large emotional scale.

Many ensembles find it hard to expand to full-blooded romanticism and taper the work down a bit. In my experience only the ad hoc group of Argerich-Kremer-Maisky strides forth with sufficient bravado, although the trio formed around pianist Fredy Kempf displays a good deal of flash. I had hoped for lightning to strike twice with the Chungs, who are so impressive in Beethoven and Brahms, but it doesn't quite. the cello isn't brave enough in the first movement, and the piano, who is required to lead the whole work wit bravura, becomes too foursquare at times. The level of performance is high, naturally, and perhaps EMI's clunky sound, which makes the piano too hard, has something to do with it, but I didn't find this a soaring reading. which isn't to detract from its energy and musicality.

If the Tchaikovsky was a work written by a world-famous composer feeling the death of a friend, the Shostakovich Piano Trio no. 1 was written by an unknown feeling the effects of first love. It was 1923, and Shostakovich, just graduated from conservatory, had spent a summer recuperating from tuberculosis in the Crimea.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scott68 on October 3, 2003
Of all the piano trios the Tchaikovsky is by far my favorite. Kyung Wha Chung is my favorite living violinist and she has demonstrated time and again her ability to speak with every note and she can handle the most difficult technical demands with grace and seemingly no effort at all. Of course the members of the Chung trio are all siblings and all Juilliard trained so it is no coincedence they play so well togather. I also recommend recordings with Oistrakh and Kogan in addition to this recording. If you are looking for a good piano trio cd to get, this is the one to get.
The Shostakovich is an interesting pairing, full of intersting rythms seemingly influenced by Tchaikovsky but undeniably original. I always enjoy listening to Shostakovich's unique offerings.
I give this my highest recommendation without hesitation.
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Gorgeous music -- the best.
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