To start, we hear a contemplative piano melody, in an idyllic Rococo atmosphere. Suddenly lightning strikes, with one of those subito forte chords that CPE Bach and his “Sturm und Drang” contemporaries loved, and a game of tempo and dynamic contrasts resumes, as well as harmonic instability. The musicians of the Linos Piano Trio have justifiably given the third work from the second collection of the “Keyboard Sonatas with an Accompaniment of Violin and Violoncell” (Wq 91) the title “Madness”.
The Linos Piano Trio’s three members, all from different countries, have been playing together since 2007, and in this, their first CD, they show that this is not just chamber music to be played in the salons of the rich, but also that these pieces have an experimental side to them. And we can hear that the genre of Baroque Trio Sonata is being challenged. CPE Bach’s works are neither trio sonatas, nor solo pieces with continuo, and he himself describes them either as “trios (and solos at the same time)” or as “sonatas, in short, absurdities or hybrids”.
Far from underplaying the fault lines, the Linos Piano Trio brings them out brilliantly, thanks to their superb pianist Prach Boondiskulchok, who takes great care with late baroque ornamentation and long pre-romantic melodic lines.
The ensemble with the strings is excellent, even after tricky pauses.
This is – amazingly – the first (!) complete recording of CPE Bach’s 13 works for piano trio, and at the end of CD 2 we find what is perhaps the shortest Andante in music history. It lasts just 45 seconds: a chord at the beginning, then a melody roaming around without really ending, and that’s it!
Translated from the original German