The complete set of Bohuslav Martinů's piano trios affords a fascinating insight into the constant transformations of his musical idiom from the early 1930s to the 1950s, also giving testimony to the composer as a human and his particular mindset.
The first, five-movement, trio, Cinq pièces brèves (1930) was written in a carefree manner (within a mere ten days) and intuitively. It is the very first Martinů piece to reflect his penchant for Neo–‐Baroque music, so salient a trait of his later creations. The second trio, Bergerettes, comes across as surprisingly light-hearted, given the time of its coming into being – in February 1939, a month prior to the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia and half a year before the outbreak of World War II … The last two piano trios, composed in the 1950s, bear all the features of Martinů's mature musical phraseology. Trio No. 2, completed in 1950, ranks among the apices of Martinů's Neo–‐Classicist period, while the structurally more complex Trio No. 3 (also known as the “Grand Trio”) has a concertante nature.
The recording of the complete Martinů trios was made by the renowned Smetana Trio, who masterfully render all the colour shades, from airiness to the broad lyrical cantilena typical of Martinů's late works.
The first new Supraphon album of the complete Martinů piano trios in more than 30 years …
“it's already obvious that the music for piano trio performed here by the Smetana Trio is going straight on the shortlist for 2016. Martinu's chamber music reveals originality at every turn; there's so much of it, but each new discovery – sonata, duo, trio, quartet, serenade – seems to unveil a gem….It's hard to imagine more ardent champions for this visceral, unpredictable music. And clear, warm sound is exactly what we've come to expect from the Supraphon label over the years.” Five Stars BBC Music
BBC Music Magazine Awards 2017 – Chamber Winner
“The virtuoso demands of this hugely attractive music are meat and drink to these wonderful Czech musicians, including Jitka Cechova. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine a better way to get to know this exhilarating and fresh music than from the hands, heads and hearts of the Smetanas.” (Sunday Times)
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