TAS Rated 5/5 Music, 5/5 Sonics in the September 2019 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Electrifying Piano Trio Performances In The Great Russian Musical Tradition on 5.1 Stereo SACD!
2020 Grammy Award Nominee:
• Best Engineered Album, Classical: Rachmaninoff - Hermitage Piano Trio
• Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: Rachmaninoff - Hermitage Piano Trio
This is their debut album as a trio. More albums with Reference Recordings are planned. Sessions were held at famed Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA, and were recorded by RR's engineering team, comprised of GRAMMY-winning engineer and Technical Director Keith O. Johnson, and multi-GRAMMY nominated engineer Sean Royce Martin. The album was produced by the multi-GRAMMY nominated team, Marina and Victor Ledin.
A rarity in the chamber music world, this elite trio is comprised of three musicians who are noted soloists in their own right. In a career already spanning fifty countries on five continents, violinist Misha Keylin is attracting particular attention with his world-premiere CD series of the seven Henri Vieuxtemps violin concertos. These best-selling recordings have garnered numerous press accolades and awards, including "Critic's Choice" by The New York Times, Gramophone, and The Strad. Hailed as "a brilliant cellist" by the legendary Mstislav Rostropovich, Sergey Antonov went on to prove his mentor's proclamation when he became one of the youngest cellists ever awarded the gold medal at the world's premier musical contest, the quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Competition. Antonov's entry into this elite stratum of sought-after classical artists has already placed him on stages at world-renowned venues from Russia's Great Hall at the Moscow Conservatory to Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Pianist Ilya Kazantsev, a fresh and exciting presence on the international music scene and a passionate interpreter of his native Russian repertoire - hailed by The Washington Post as "virtually flawless" - has performed as recitalist and soloist with orchestras in Russia, Canada, Europe, and the United States. Among his many awards and honors, Mr. Kazantsev received first prize at the Nikolai Rubinstein International Competition (Paris) and won the International Chopin Competition (Moscow) and the 2007 & 2008 World Piano Competitions (Cincinnati).
This absolutely unmissable disc performs a valuable service in providing the first SACD performances of [Rachmaninov]'s exquisite piano trios. The Hermitage Piano Trio has the full measure of this vivid and colourful music, chamber works which are not afraid to wear their heart on their sleeve - but never in a forced, sentimental manner. In fact, it is the muscle and sinew of these performances which render them virtually definitive - and, what's more, with the customarily impressive Reference Recordings sound palette, albeit recorded in a resonant acoustic perhaps more suited to orchestral recordings. But the disc makes for a superb listening experience - and not just for aficionados of Rachmaninov. One can even forgive yet another performance of the over-recorded 'Vocalise'.
The performances, created from complete movement run-throughs plus 'fixes' taken from additional brief takes, are as intensely satisfying as a concert hall experience. Professor Keith O. Johnson set up his microphone array so that he could later generate a surround version of the recording, as well as stereo programs for both headphone and loudspeaker listening. How he knew what he was actually getting from listening to the two small monitors set up in a remote control room is beyond me. But in multichannel especially, this album is among the most convincingly realistic recordings I've ever heard. Not to be missed.
Striking the right balance between interpretative nobility and expressive candour is particularly challenging in music of such claustrophobic intensity, yet the Hermitage Piano Trio proves fully equal to the task, ensuring that no emotional stone is left unturned without resorting to mere hysteria. Exemplary annotations from Victor and Marina A. Ledin (who also produced the recording), a delectable encore in the form of Julius Conus's 1928 transcription of the Vocalise and atmospheric yet tactile recorded sound (which sounds especially alluring in SACD) round out an outstanding release.Features:
• Super Audio CD
• SACD 5.1 & Stereo
• CD Stereo
• This Hybrid SACD contains a Super HDCD 24 Bit encoded Stereo CD layer which is playable on most conventional CD Players!
• Debut album as a trio
• Produced by Victor and Marina A. Ledin
• Recording Engineer: Keith O. Johnson
• Recorded by Sean Royce Martin
• Mastering by Keith O. Johnson
• DSD Transfer & SACD Authoring by Graemme Brown, Zen Mastering
• Total Time: 71:43
Misha Keylin, violin
Sergey Antonov, cello
Ilya Kazantsev, piano
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
1. Trio Elegiaque No. 1 In G Minor (1892)
Trio Elegiaque No. 2 In D Minor, Opus 9 (1893, Revised 1907 & 1917)
2. I. Moderato - Allegro Vivace (D Minor)
3. II. Quasi Variazione. Andante (F Major)
4. III. Allegro Risoluto - Moderato (D Minor)
5. Vocalise, Opus 34, No. 12 (1915, Transcribed by Julius Conus [1869-1942] In 1928)
Recorded at Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts, September 3-7, 2017