The works here are all transcribed for piano trio, or “stolen”, as the title would have it; all were originally orchestral, except for Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4, of Schoenberg, which started out as a string sextet and was then remade for orchestra. That one might seem the most unlikely transcription of the set, but it’s also the only one not of the Linos Piano Trio’s own making; it comes from the pen of Eduard Steuermann, a member of Schoenberg’s Viennese circle…
The rest of the transcriptions are ingenious and beautifully played.
The cello takes the theme of Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and galumphs along effectively. The Prélude à l’après-midi d’un Faune of Debussy gives a lot of the melody to the violin and accomplishes a strikingly lyrical take on the piece.
The best of all, though, is Ravel’s La Valse, at the end.
This piece is notable for the multiplicity of meanings it carries. Ravel said that he didn’t intend it to symbolize the state of Vienna, or Europe, after World War I, but what did he know? The Linos Piano Trio draws on the orchestral original and the various transcriptions for two or one pianos, but it adds something that none of those can manage: a hint of the waltz in the salon or café, as it might be played by a small group. The group states that this “stolen music” was made with the members having the intention of pushing themselves, and the effort is largely engaging and successful, aided by fine Bavarian Radio studio sound.