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Mendelssohn Piano Trios

Hamlet Piano Trio


SKU: 36415

Year of release: 2015

Trio No. 1 Opus 49 28:45
1. Molto allegro agitato Mendelssohn 09:52
2. Andante con moto tranquillo Mendelssohn 06:39
3. Scherzo Mendelssohn 03:41
4. Finale Mendelssohn 08:31
Trio No. 2 Opus 66 29:36
5. Allegro energico e con fuoco Mendelssohn 10:53
6. Andante espressivo Mendelssohn 06:37
7. Scherzo Mendelssohn 03:41
8. Finale Mendelssohn 08:24
Total time: 58:21

About this album

A keyboard trio is usually written for the harpsichord, fortepiano or piano, and violin (or flute) and cello. The genre developed in the mid-18th century from the so-called Baroque trio sonata and the harpsichord sonata. A trio sonata is a work with three melodic lines or parts played by one, two or three instruments. Bach, for example, wrote trio sonatas for the organ, in which the three melodic lines are played by the right hand, left hand and pedal. The same piece could also be played by two violins or flutes and a bass instrument (harpsichord, cello or viola da gamba, for instance). The bass part could also be played by two or more instruments together: a melodic instrument such as the viola da gamba, cello or bassoon, and a chordal instrument such as the harpsichord, organ or lute. The official name of the bass part is basso continuo, i.e. a bass line which is ever-present, forming the supporting foundation for the composition as a whole. Another possibility was to play one of the upper parts on the violin or flute and the other two parts on the harpsichord. In this manner the three melodic lines were shared by two instruments. The harpsichord, which had been the humble servant of instruments with greater aspirations, thus became an equal partner with a fully-fledged role. The technical term for this role is ‘obbligato’, meaning obligatory. This is the general background to one of the most popular genres of classical chamber music, the piano trio, as we are familiar with it in the music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn.

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Music Emotion

Het fraaie is het contrast tussen de strijkers en de gespeelde pianopartij op de Erard piano (...) Opvallend is ook de fraaie klank van de cello.

American Record Guide

Giacometti has amazing technique (...) musical and compelling (...) the sound is as good as the performances (...)


Réunis autour d’un Erard de 1837 à la sonorité gracieuse, les musiciens nous charment par la transparence de la texture légère et le raffinement des couleurs – splendide maîtrise des couleurs en boyau.

What the mellow sounding Erard piano brings to the table is clarity, especially to Mendelssohns writing at the lower end of the spectrum which here never sounds heavy or too full. (…) YThe passion and tempestuous character of these compositions is realized to the full, yet these artists are meltingly expressive in the two glorious slow movements, never short changing the music’s abundant lyriscism. (…) the sound quality is beautifully balanced and marvelously lifelike (…)


Another month, another Mendelssohn trios disc. This new one from the Hamlet Trio, a group just four years old, boasts performances that shine with confidence and immediacy, and Paolo Giacometti plays a fine 1837 Erard piano. Good things abound: in the D minor First Trio the second movement’s tempo is spot-on, and the piano’s opening soliloquy persuasively done, while the scherzo sizzles without losing sight of an underlying elegance. The opening Allegro energico of the C minor, too, is certainly not short on fire. (...)

Opus Klassiek

De balans tussen de mildere klank van de met darmsnaren en bijpassende strijkstokken uitgerustte instrumenten vormt een weldadig evenwicht met de pianopartij, die door de veel doorzichtiger klank alle ruimte overlaat. Voeg daaraan toe de volkomen natuurlijke manier van musiceren, zonder overdreven rubati en een uitgekiend gebruik van vibrato en er ontstaat een pracht van een klankbeeld.

Technical Specifications

Recording SoftwareMerging
Recording Type Bit RateDSD64
Recording LocationMCO studio 1, Hilversum Holland
Recording EngineerJared Sacks
ProducerWillem de Bordes, Jared Sacks
Mixing BoardRens Heijnis custom made
MicrophonesBruel & Kyaer
Mastering EquipmentB&W 803 diamond series
Mastering EngineerJared Sacks
Digital ConvertersGrimm A/D
Cablesvan den Hul