The Smetana Trio, comprising the magnificent Jitka Cechova on piano, Jana Vonaskova's tender and passionate violin, and the sturdy underpinning of Jan Palenicek's vibrant cello, are today considered one of the very finest ensembles of their ilk.
After previous recordings mapping the peaks of Czech trio composition, on this CD the ensemble round off the set of Dvorak's trios and at the same time venture beyond the borders of the Czech repertoire. Their Tchaikovsky, however, surprises with a naturalness and torrential expressivity akin to that which in the case of Dvorak's Dumky and Piano Trio No. 3 in F minor earned enthusiastic reviews and accolades (BBC Music Magazine Award 2007).
Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A minor (by the way, one of the longest piano trios there is) can be understood as the composer's attempt at overcoming his personal antipathy to the sonic combination of piano with violin or cello. The Smetana Trio have grasped it with passion and apprehension of the "broad Slavonic soul".
Smetana Trio: inimitable Dvorak and Tchaikovsky, played with passion and torrential expressivity .