TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: Classical
Executive producer: Jim Mulally
When you hear this trio play Sibelius, you'll understand why the Sibelius family granted Petteri, Juho and Samuli use of the composer's name. Jean Sibelius' piano trios were important to him personally. He wrote them in his youth, during the summers he
vacationed with his brother Christian and sister Linda on various islands in Houtskär, the Finnish archipelago off the southwest coast of Finland. Sibelius wrote Korppoo Trio on Korrpoo Island where the composer (violin), Linda (piano) and Christian
(cello) played it on 'rainy days' at the family's summer house.
- Bob Attiyeh, producer
"Sibelius gave us his monumental Korppoo Trio in D Major (JS 209) in 1887. We can hear the magnificent mature Sibelius peeking out through this work. Sibelius wrote Korppoo Trio in three sophisticated and dramatic movements.... Korppoo opens with a good-humored celebration of the Beauty of Nature and includes a thoughtful Fugue in the development section which demonstrates his growing power as a composer. Next comes a Fantasia, improvisational and painterly in nature, with frequent tempo changes and mood swings, ending with passages of natural serenity that remind me of bird song. Sibelius reveals his fun sense of humor in the final Rondo, which he writes without allowing himself to be inhibited by traditions of the 'approved' classical tradition." - Juho Pohjonen
Korppoo Trio is the most ambitious and expansive of the three Sibelius trios... coming in at 26 minutes, its fluent, melodic opening allegro interrupted on occasion by stabbing, rather Beethovenian assertions and even a clean-lined fugato at one point, though the overall form is classic in outline and clear as a bell. The second movement unfolds elaborate episodes that delve into Romantic pathos and fantasy, with striking use of high birdcalls and glassy harmonics in the violin (presumably to show off the young composer-violinist's prowess on his instrument). A vivace rondo finale dances gaily along, bringing the trio to an exhilarating conclusion.... Yarlung's recording, is, as usual, the epitome of sonic realism.
The playing on this particular recording is first rate, with an organic sense of pacing that makes the musical twists and turns flow naturally... From a sonic perspective, this recording is a gold mine. In many ways it reminds me of my classic 'Living Stereo' chamber records, with a natural string tone and three-dimensionality of instruments. The transparency was truly impressive when heard through my Harbeth 30.2 monitors, and I could almost make out the little breaths, grunts, and groans of the ensemble moving and shaping the music together. Only in some moments did I notice some minor bright patches of string tone, but this is something I notice in some select live halls as well, so it may not be the fault of the recording at all. In some other ways, this record decidedly bests my classic 'shaded dogs' and Decca 'wide bands', with a fuller piano sound, and better micro-dynamics and low level details. Cutting techniques have improved a bit in the last 60 years, and dynamic range here is superb... the music should be a crowd-pleaser for any fans of romantic era chamber music, the performance is of high artistic merit, and the sound is of a quality we almost never hear in new recordings, even from major labels. This is not only a record I highly recommend, but this is a label to keep on your radar.
Hold onto your earlobes, because the vinyl knocks the CD into a cocked hat. The clarity is still there, but the vinyl - mastered by Bernie Grundman - offers more of the hall's resonance, a more relaxed atmosphere, and a much sweeter tone. I'm gobsmacked at the difference... Don't miss this.
- 180g Vinyl
- Recorded in Samueli Theater at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, March 30, 2016
- Lacquers cut by Bernie Grundman
- Made in Germany
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
Korppoo Trio In D Major (JS 209)
- Allegro Moderato
- Fantasia Andante (Part 1)
- Fantasia Andante (Part 2)
- Finale Vivace