Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Cecile Chaminade, Camille Saint-Saens, Maurice Ravel|
Ravel, Chaminade, Saint-SaŽns: Piano Trios
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An Unusually Appealing Program of French Gems
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Besides lovely performances and sound, this disc offers a wonderful program of French chamber music at its finest. Of the three works, the Ravel, with its gem-like sonorities and nervous energy, is a familiar, classic piece of Impressionist writing. But the Saint-Saens, at one time not well known to collectors at all, is a gem, too--one the composer's best works. I'm happy to see that this treasure is garnering more attention from ensembles and labels; there are quite a number of recordings to choose from nowadays. The performance by the Rembrandt is as good as any I've heard, with a lithe opening movement and a perfect balance of mystery and tenderness in the superb slow movement.If you're new to the Saint-Saens, these two movements will be a surprise, by the way. The first has a lilting, Spanish-inflected opening theme that sounds like nothing else Saint-Saens wrote, while the second starts off mysteriously, sounding like the Frenchman's answer to Beethoven's "Ghost Trio," and ends up being one of his most deeply felt, richly Romantic pieces of writing. The scherzo is fun-clever and a bit arch-and the last movement appropriately bubbly. The Rembrandt does well by all of them.More surprising still is the Chaminade trio. Cecile Chaminade is usually dismissed as a composer of salon trifles, but if so, this trio is a wonderful aberration. As we'd expect from any salon composer worth her salt, the work is full of good melodies, but it is also graciously put together and overall has a seriousness of purpose and demeanor that makes it a worthy companion for its two discmates. While I have nothing to compare the Rembrandt's performance with, the ensemble seems to get inside the music, and they certainly make a compelling case for it.So if you're ready to leave the beaten chamber music path, the Rembrandt Trio has come up with a delightful side excursion."