After focusing on the Czech trio literature (on highly acclaimed recordings ranging from Dvorak to Martinu) and paying a visit to Tchaikovsky (SU 3949-2), the Smetana Trio has turned to the very heart of the Romantic repertoire for their newest album.
Both of the pieces on this disc rank among the most frequently played trios; in both of them, the composers succeeded in striking a rare balance in the texture as well as in the instrumentation, placing all three instruments on an even footing.
The success of the Schubert trio, which makes use of Swedish folk melodies, is attested to by the fact that it was the only one of the composer's works to be published abroad during his lifetime. Coincidentally the piece received Robert Schumann's highest praise in his comment on the Mendelssohn trio: "It is a contemporary masterpiece, a work such as Beethoven's trios were in their day, or Schubert's Trio in E flat Major, a very beautiful composition which still pleases grandchildren and great-grandchildren years afterwards.
" Both pieces find excellent performers in the Smetana Trio, with its sense of ensemble playing. In Schumann's words, may Mendelssohn and Schubert "still please grandchildren and great-grandchildren years afterwards" on this recording as well.