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"Mozart′s Piano Trios require a lot more depth of interpretation than they often get. It′s easy to play a nice, light Mozart line, but not everyone really gets into the heart of the music. Of the various traversals of the complete trios that have come and gone from the catalog, the only ones with lasting power are the Beaux Arts set on Philips and the Trio Parnassus on MDG (my favorite), and this new set on Tacet by the Abegg Trio is not likely to challenge either of those distinguished versions. Don′t get me wrong--the Abegg players are fine musicians with beautiful instruments, and they certainly are no novices when it comes to Mozart. They allow the cantabile inherent in Mozart′s melodies, like the main theme of the first movement of the E major, to sing without losing any sense of pacing, and they let the music dance and sparkle in a highly appropriate manner. Overall, the playing is rock-solid and phrases are tasteful and nicely shaped, but this recording is notable more for what′s missing--that extra degree of vitality and attention to the small details.
The differences between the Abegg′s performance and that of the Trio Parnassus immediately become apparent when you listen to just the opening bars of the Divertimento Trio K.254, or the exquisite Andante Cantabile of the C major Trio. Same notes, same basic dynamic levels, but with the Parnassus the notes just spring to life. Another perfect example is the distinctive way the Parnassus players handle the different variations in the finale of the G major, versus the more straightforward approach from the Abbeg. Again, without such comparisons, most listeners would be quite comfortable with the Abegg′s competent approach; but owing to the easy availability of the MDG set, I strongly recommend making that one a first choice. In addition, the recorded sound on MDG is more vibrant than on the Tacet release, and much more detailed."
David Preiser

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