Friday, January 25, 2019

Mozart, The Complete Piano Trios, Marta Gulyas, Vilmos Szabadi, Csaba Onczay, Mate Szucs

At a fairly young age I discovered Beethoven's Piano Trios and found that the piano-centered fullness and the violin-cello-piano interplay as Beethoven conceived it was very much to my liking. It seemed a highly flexible vehicle well suited to both the brio and the lyrical side of Beethoven's genius. I later acquired recordings of Haydn's Piano Trios and found them quite interesting, though of course often less concerned with an equal three-way voicing but rather more at times as solo and accompaniment. For no good reason I have not prior to now been exposed to the Mozart corpus of works in this mode, Happily I have been sent the very recent release Complete Piano Trios (Hungaroton 32825-27) and have been quite absorbed in the three CDs that form the whole of this set.

The trios are played with a great deal of poise, balance, precision and well tempered passion by Marta Gulyas on piano, Vilmos Szabadi on violin, Csaba Onczay on cello--and Mate Szucs on viola for the violin-viola version of the "Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, K. 498."

The eight Piano Trios that comprise the complete opus are included. That includes the D minor which was left incomplete and nicely topped off by Maximilian Stadler. All the reasons we love Mozart are present in these trios, the structural brilliance, the inventive infinity, the poignant lyricism and the soul-stirring vigor, it is all meted out in a myriad of ways within a sort of  Jello mold of Classical containment.

I will admit I have not heard any other versions of the complete trios but I am very happy with the sound quality of the recording and the artistic integrity of the players on this particular incarnation. One thing I especially like is that none of the music becomes a leapfrogging for an ambitiously showy presentation. Instead, the music exists as the music Mozart wanted us to hear, with all due attention to the pacing and note gathering he intended.

Perhaps I am a little off the norm, but honestly being in possession of such a well performed set is to me a kind of guarantee of happy listening ahead, more of it when there should never be too little! The wealth of wonderful music played with insight and zeal, what could be better than this?

Needless to say I very much recommend this for anyone who thinks they would like to have it! It does not disappoint. Mozart will warm you in winter and cool you in summer. So do not hesitate.

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