"Heard in concert, this well-prepared and sensitively nuanced "Trout" would satisfy the pickiest concertgoer. On disc, however, a few factors keep it at a position just below the work′s top recorded contenders. These include a rather abrasive tonal quality to loud unison string tuttis (the Scherzo′s scampering opening measures, for instance, and throughout the Finale, despite the great care taken with balances and dynamics), self-conscious phrasings and articulations in the variations movement that border on mannerism, occasional technical blemishes (the first violinist′s high-lying trills in the latter movement), and less-than suave passage-work triplets in the outer movements.
Pianist Carmen Piazzini may grace the "Trout" with her crisp, beautifully shaded contributions, but beware her drab and prosaic Four Impromptus D. 899. She seems to take forever intoning the C minor′s bald opening phrase, and either picks at the obsessive accompanying triplets or doggedly runs them into the ground. She over-phrases the E-flat Impromptu′s minor-key sections yet articulates the main part′s vertiginous scales without the evenness and poise Murray Perahia and Radu Lupu bring to this piece. No amount of "meaningful" rubato on Piazzini′s part can disguise her basic plodding and dourly foursquare concept of the sublime G-flat Impromptu. As it turns out, my least favorite Impromptu (No. 4) gets the most interesting performance. I enjoyed Piazzini′s spiky articulation of the right hand arpeggiated figures and her judicious gauging of the central episode′s long lines.
Given the warm, resplendent sonics distinguishing Tacet′s piano recordings with Evgeny Koroliov, the Impromptus sound bleak and bloodless by comparison. The Quintet, though, is engineered up to this label′s usual exemplary standards. DVD-Audio mavens should know that this release also is available in a Surround Sound edition."
Jed Distler

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