|Review by Polarius T September 20, 2012 (9 of 10 found this review helpful)
|Since no one is reviewing this, I'm just going to register my gut reaction basically lifted from a discussion thread:
What phenomenal music-making going on in here! Only highest marks, and that in every department coming into question: virtuosity and expressiveness of the individual players (both of these very important in these particular works), ensemble sensitivity and balance, recording quality, and programming. I've never listened to the Brahms and the Ligeti with such great pleasure before, and the Aho work is much more than merely an interesting and informative filler. While the pianist Silke Avenaar is not quite an Aimard in the Ligeti piece (the Aimard of the Sony Ligeti Edition, vol. 7, not of the earlier Erato recording), just about no one else is either, and the overall impression is in any case one of a freer- and more spontaneous-sounding (but no less internalized or controlled) performance, qualities that matter in particular in Ligeti (who was a big admirer of Bill Evans and a certain T.S. Monk by the way). And in the Brahms trio she really shines as an ideal interpreter of the composer, showing certain qualities that even brought to my mind Richter as a chamber musician. Neunecker needs no compliments as she might well be the greatest proponent of her instrument (or any individual instrument) right now, and Weithaas on the violin really caught my attention. Must look up more samples of her work; happily, there seems to be an abundance of possibilities for this -- just look her up as either a high-flying soloist, freelancing chamber player, or a member of the something-very-special sounding Arcanto Quartet (whose other members are Daniel Sepec, Tabea Zimmermann, and Jean-Guihen Queyras -- need we say more?). How could I possibly have missed out on her till now??
An experience little short of thrilling, in other words, and for me the best I've heard from BIS to date. Don't miss out on this big joy.
Their Brahms in particular makes Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 1, Horn Trio - Trio Grumiaux sound just ancient, awkward, and unrefined, and Horn Trios - Baborak, Nasturica, Shimizu a bit pedantic, scripted, and un-together in comparison (to say nothing of BIS' hallmark sonics which are outstanding and in their own class here, even with no consideration to their M/C mix).
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