SCHUBERT: Trout Quintet, String Trios D. 581 & D. 487 – Leopold String Trio with Paul Lewis, piano, and Graham Mitchell, double bass – Hyperion

by | May 29, 2006 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

SCHUBERT: Trout Quintet, String Trios D. 581 & D. 487 – Leopold String Trio with Paul Lewis, piano, and Graham Mitchell, double bass – Hyperion CDA 67527, 69:03 ****:

This new release enters a repertoire field with lots of competition, although the Trout is rarely coupled with the two String Trios.

What really makes this release stand out is an unusually clear and refreshing Trout, both in performance and recording. In fact, the purity of the sound (recorded in Potton Hall, Suffolk by Simon Eadon and Andrew Keener) may be a sign, especially when considering other new and recent releases from leading edge companies like Hyperion and Harmonia Mundi, that digital recording is finally coming into its own. 

In fact, while listening to these performances, I caught myself wondering what it would have sounded like it were an analog production. I could almost hear the overlay of “color” that such an attractive characteristics of great analog recordings. But I was not sorry it was digital. I recalled the analog “color” more as a bit of nostalgia than something I really missed.

In addition to the lovely, sparkling Trout, there are the two String Trios which contain some surprisingly memorable moments of innocent beauty, like similar moments in Schubert’s piano Impromptus.

— Laurence Vittes

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