RACHMANINOV Piano Trios / Ashkenazy 4785346
. . . chords resonate, melodies flow and passion and melancholy walk hand in hand. Have a handkerchief ready.
[Trio no. 2]: Ashkenazy, Visontay and Lidström tap the vein of grief coursing through this music, inspired . . . They also unleash passion . . .
. . . the piano writing already has the fluency of Rachmaninov's later music, and it's Vladimir Ashkenazy's treatment of that -- wonderfully coloured and full-bodied without ever becoming overbearing -- that's the main pleasure of this disc.
Such a lifelong devotion to this composer brings great dividends in these performances which are notable for their control and emotional restraint. Even in the sections where the composer unleashes passagework of considerable pianistic virtuosity, Ashkenazy is scrupulously discreet, avoiding any temptation to swamp his excellent string partners with over-heated gestures . . . wonderfully balanced textures . . . these performances provide rich musical rewards as does the transcription of "Vocalise" played with great nobility by Zsol-Tihamér Visontay.