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A perfect gem.
Howard G Brown | Port St. Lucie, FL USA | 07/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An exceptional trio in concert with an exceptional orchestra, playing music they respect and enjoy and know from first note to last. The recorded sound is full bodied, yet brilliant, and the chorus in the Fantasy is obviously at home in both the language and the music.This is middle-period Beethoven in (unusual) departures from the standard symphony and concerto opuses so well known. The Choral Fantasy is a wonderful, bravural piece that deserves to be played more often. Perhaps the piano part is too small to warrant the fee of big name performer. It would take some imaginative programming to get the most out of the chorus for the evening as well.Meanwhile, we have this recording to enjoy."
Lots of vigor, but no poetry or joy
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 08/04/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While staying in a friend's house and faced with a small record collection, I put on this coupling of the Triple Cto. and Choral Fantasy from 1992-93. My hopes weren't high. I am not a fan of the Beaux Arts Trio or Masur. I cannot say that the performances exceeded even my low expectations. Masur's conducting is vogorous, but in the Triple cto. it turns abrasive and brusque in the finale, exactly the wrong tone for that ebulient, light-hearted movement. the three soloists are proficient but ordinary, and they suffer from a lack of poetry -- without generosity of spirit, this work comes off as second-rate Beethoven, but in the right spirit it can be delightful. As for the choral Fantasy, it fares even worse, perhaps. Pressler's lack of joy is painful, and Beethoven's high spirits go for naught.
In short, both readings deserve a bit of respect for their professionalism but not a speck of affection or love."