Richard Franck -- no kin to César Franck -- was the son of a prominent German composer/pianist, Eduard Franck. He was born in Cologne, 3 Jan 1858 and died in Heidelberg, 22 Jan 1938. He was a composer and pianist who studied with his father in Berlin and with Reinecke, Wenzel, Jadassohn and Richter in Leipzig. He taught in Basle (1880-83, 1887-1900), with a period also in Berlin and Magdeburg, and conducted choirs in Kassel (1900-9) and Heidelberg (1910-38). Known chiefly as a performer of Beethoven, he also wrote a number of pieces in late Romantic vein for piano. As far as I know these are the first recordings of his two remarkable piano trios. I understand there is also an Audite CD of his piano quartets and I plan to acquire them when I can because this music is quintessential late Romantic music with arching, long-limbed, beautiful themes and tight classical construction. I particularly liked the third movement of the First Trio, a flying tarantella that bids fair to make one get up and dance. And the slow movement of Trio Two is almost too beautiful for words; there is particularly lovely playing by cellist Blees there. The terrific fugato in the final movement of II reminds me of the one in the Schumann Piano Quintet except that it is more expertly done. One could say that these works are mostly Brahmsian except that there are traces here and there of Schumann, Strauss and even Bruckner.
As for the performances -- by three musicians I'd never heard of before: Thomas Blees (cello), Bernhardt Fograscher (piano) and Christoph Schickedanz (violin) -- they are ardent, beautifully managed and thoroughly convincing. Recorded sound is excellent.