Discovering the Classical String Trio, Vol 2
The Vivaldi Project consists of three superb string players – Elizabeth Field, Allison Edberg Nyquist and Stephanie Vial – who are dedicated to uncovering the vast amount of neglected yet worthy repertoire for string trio dating from the Baroque and early Classical periods. Their second MSR release proves just as captivating as their first. In the opening salvo, JC Bach’s G major Trio, Field and Nyquist revel in the first movement’s conversational playfulness, while all three musicians point up the rhythmic variety and contrapuntal repartee in the central movement of Campioni’s G minor Sonata. By contrast, the Haydn Divertimento’s aria-like first movement stands out for the players’ strong characterisation of their individual parts: the violinist’s silver-toned decorative writing, the viola player’s resonant pizzicatos and the cellist’s sensitively parsed bass lines.
Also note the ensemble’s impeccably calibrated embellishments and balancing of lines in Klausek’s moody Trio, and the perfectly matched declamatory unisons at the Bréval Trio’s outset. The latter’s Presto may sound more like an allegretto here, yet a slower tempo allows these musicians more wiggle-room for tonal shading and rhythmic precision. Indeed, their rich yet never excessive timbral ripeness fills out the disc’s concluding Vivaldi Trio to the point where a cembalo basso continuo option becomes moot. Producer and Engineer Richard Price deserves equal credit for the recording’s attractively realistic concert-hall ambience. But who provided the well-written and informative booklet notes? Highly recommended and, needless to say, I look forward to future volumes in this important series.