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- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
These performances have everything that you would expect from a middle of the road recording. Professional finish, high polish of ensemble, elegance in the presentation, clean phrasing and articulation, exceptionally pleasing sound for chamber work, not too close, not too resonant. If it doesn't touch any depth, you take that on board for the sheer pleasure it imparts.
It's only when you take out some other recordings, like the old Oistrakh Trio in Schubert, or the Stern, Rose & Istomin in both Schubert and Mendelssohn, that you suddenly realise an essential component to be missing from this album. You can call it by various names, e.g. total commitment, depth of musical penetration, insight into the specificity of each work. The last-named criterion is essentially what is missing from the Rembrandt Trio's readings. Their Schubert and Mendelssohn have much the same spirit animating them, and this is surely wrong. The performance seems to rely on the music to make its own mark; but it can't do this if the performers don't help it along!
I don't wish to exaggerate the demerits, nor the positives of this recording. But the word "professional" meets, I think, the impression conveyed by their music making.
It is neither a great, nor a defective performance. It just doesn't answer to the deep needs of listeners who want their Schubert, their Mendelssohn to reflect some aspect of the uniqueness of each one's musical personality. The absence of this specificity, however, lowered my enthusiasm very considerably.
Nevertheless, I can imagine collectors who will be happy with a disc that gives them two of the finest works in this genre, and who would perfectly happy with the professionalism of this group.