Piano Trio/Notturno (Audiomax SACD 9023013-6)
Trio Alba’s stunning new recording of Schubert’s second Piano Trio (D929) is exceptional: almost casually virtuosic, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and up on the latest scholarship. Recorded in a church in Marienmünster they make some exceptionally gorgeous, open-hearted joyous sounds with the piano recorded in the most stunning liquid tones. The first bars of the D897 Notturno begin so softly that you have to tune your ears in extra-carefully; then, when the first notes from the violin and cello begin to emerge the effect is pure magic—Schubert would have been proud of such an hallucinogenic haze. The trio’s playing bonds fully with this audiophile labels’ warmly rich and detailed sound. The already splendid recording gains even more brilliantly when heard via electrostatic cans, rather than speakers, where the spectral qualities defy the limits of imagination.