MOZART: Piano Trios – The Newstead Trio – Xun Pan, piano; Michael Jamanis, violin; Sara Male, cello – Prince Productions

by | Jul 23, 2007 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

MOZART: Piano Trios – The Newstead Trio – Xun Pan, piano; Michael Jamanis, violin; Sara Male, cello – Prince Productions 9807 P, 69 mins. ***** [www.newsteadtrio.com]:

From the opening notes of this superb disc I was immediately struck by not only the glorious playing of a trio I’d never heard of before, but also the breathtaking sound pouring forth from my stereo. A quick internet search turned up very little in additional information about either The Newstead Trio or Prince Productions, their record label. [In fact the latter brings up a rap group who instantly yell at you at high volume!…Ed.] The trio is Ensemble In Residence at the Pennsylvania Academy of Music, and the three members apparently share an association rooted in their individual tenures at Rutgers University. Their playing of these Mozart Trios is nothing short of magnificent, and really shocking to me is that they’re not represented on a major classical label; I guess this is a very telling reminder of the incredibly sorry state of the music industry in general.

A quick scan of the disc’s scant liner notes revealed that the recording engineer is the legendary Marc Aubort – well, that definitely explains the astonishingly good sound! How refreshing it is to see that his excellent work is still out there; I was, however, disappointed upon checking the Prince website to find only a generic domain availability page. I guess it must still be in the works, and I’m really hoping to have the opportunity to hear not only future recordings by this excellent ensemble, but also the always incredible work of Marc Aubort.

This disc represents among the very finest trio recordings I’ve ever heard; their playing of this oft-recorded Mozart repertory is peerless, and the recording is simply stunning. Very highly recommended!

– Tom Gibbs
 

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