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An exhilarating experience … inspiring and extremely coherent

Das Orchester

A large impressionistic orchestra spread over three instruments – can that work? The Linos Piano Trio turns this experiment into an exhilarating experience on their CD Stolen Music.

Everything works: the translation of the orchestral score to the much clearer structures of the piano trio, the suggestion of an enormous dynamic range, and the creative implementation as if the arrangement were itself a chamber music original.

It is astonishing to hear how, at the beginning of the CD programme, Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune does not miss any of the fine aural nuances and hues of the original, as the violin, cello and piano are even able to add new dimensions.

Prach Boondiskulchok, Konrad Elias-Trostmann and Vladimir Waltham play this trio piece as if it were the lost original version of Debussy’s Impressionist masterpiece.

It sounds inspiring and extremely coherent and is captured brilliantly by the audio engineering of the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation.

The only piece in the Linos programme that one can easily imagine played by a piano trio, even before you listen to it for the first time, works very well, but does not offer the same spectacular new listening experience as the CD’s overture. In the version for trio, Paul Dukas’ Sorcerer’s Apprentice has all the movement, dynamics and drama that make this work seem like a pleasurable piece of imaginary film music.

For Arnold Schönberg’s Verklärter Nacht, op. 4, Thai-British pianist Prach Boondiskulchok (also composer), violinist Konrad Elias-Trostmann (second violinist with the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne) and cellist Vladimir Waltham (soloist also on the baroque cello and viols of various sizes) fall back on a well-established arrangement by Eduard Steuermann. It is not so brilliantly tailored to the playing style of the Linos Piano Trio, but it offers instead an enormous space to try out aural nuances and to form a wonderfully blending sound unit.

The three musicians succeed phenomenally in “breathing” together and coordinating the sounds of the three instruments, truly creating the impression of a homogeneous ensemble of stringed instruments.

Of course, the final piece on this CD, Maurice Ravel’s La Valse, loses some of its explosive dynamic power and doesn’t seem as “kaput” and broken as in the orchestral version. So, in the hands of the Linos Piano Trio, a wholly independent piece of chamber music emerges, which the three musicians – as noted in the booklet, unfortunately only in English – have deliberately conceived in the spirit of the Ravel Piano Trio.

Loosely translated from German.

The recording:
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