by Michael Lyons, Music Director
Safe it to say that all the Eroica Trio recordings from which this little smorgasbord are drawn are still available and you can safely proceed with this disc as a very entertaining taste test for future purchases. For fans of the musically versatile Eroica Trio let’s call this one the pleasure pack. And, as is the case with all samplers, best-of compilations, or pleasure packs, we tend to note first off what is missing.
Let me see, so what is missing on “The Best of Eroica Trio”? Right away I noted the absence of the brilliantly arranged and performed Gershwin Preludes from their debut disc, I was sad to see the amazing trio version of the Bach solo violin Chaconne from their Baroque disc was missing, and either of the Brahms Piano Trios from the all-Brahms disc would have met with my approval. But this is a sampler and I understand that they can’t put every track on 1 CD. So that’s what’s missing—now more importantly let’s look at what is here, and there is plenty –the musical range is quite staggering.
We open with one of classical music’s greatest hits—the Albinoni Adagio—a warhorse that has been performed by every conceivable combination of instruments I think, however, this piano trio version manages to be a first and it is lovely.
I am pleased to say that the Beethoven Clarinet Trio Op.11 is included, and I can comfortably say, even as a clarinetist who has performed and recorded this music, that it works very well here for piano, violin and cello. Really!
Some familiar Brahms in the form of the famous Lullaby and the popular Hungarian Dance #6 (you’ll know the one when you hear it) and then there is the sublime Rachmaninov Vocalise in another very original piano trio arrangement.
At the other end of the musical spectrum from the Vivaldi and Albinoni we encounter the loveliness of Villa-Lobos the Aria from Bachianas Brasilieras and then two beautful works by Astor Piazzolla.
There is also some Paul Schoenfield from their debut disc which is most intriguing—and that leaves the Dvorak Dumky Trio and another lullaby, the Berceuse of Benjamin Godard.
This CD works as a perfectly balanced programme all on its own—however, if you are like me and want it all then be relieved to know that the full Eroica Trio discography is available in the catalogue all on EMI Classics just waiting to be enjoyed.
Eroica Trio (Debut Disc) EMI 5 56482 2
Dvorak/Rachmaninov EMI 5 56673 2
Baroque (Albinoni et al) EMI 5 56873 2
Brahms EMI 5 57199 2
Pasion (Piazzolla et al) EMI 5 57033 2
Beethoven EMI 5 57654 2
Best of EMI 5 57906 2