Following on from the recording of the complete trios of Antonín Dvořák (Supraphon), the renowned and critically acclaimed Smetana Trio have taken the logical step of recording a Johannes Brahms album of the same ilk. As a pianist, Brahms earned admiration back in his childhood and later on many occasions even premiered his own pieces. Almost four decades span the first trio Brahms wrote, at the age of twenty, and the last. Besides piano trios in the traditional configuration, he composed a trio for horn and a trio for clarinet. The sound of the horn, an instrument Brahms himself played, was reputedly loved by the composer's mother and he wrote the horn trio as a response to her death. Brahms created the clarinet trio for the celebrated clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld, whom the composer esteemed immensely. The Smetana Trio's guests on the new recording are the outstanding clarinettist Ludmila Peterková and the superlative horn player Přemysl Vojta, winner of the ARD Munich competition (2010) and holder of a Beethoven Ring.
Brahms with the tenderness and engrossing romantic expressiveness of the Smetana Trio.
”Overall, these musicians have an especially strong and fine sense of line. The Horn Trio is full of echt-Romantic vistas and half-lights…The Clarinet Trio is a revelation: not at all the austere, reserved piece it often seems, but deeply poetic and full of late autumnal colours.”
BBC Music Magazine, April 2013
”There is spontaneous engagement with the music and such a heroic sweep to the playing…(Peterkova's clarinet playing in the Op. 114 Trio is absolutely magical)…The Smetana Trio is thus at or near the top of my short-list of relatively recent recordings of these glorious works.”
International Record Review, May 2013
”What the Smetana may lack in polish they make up for in exciting raw edged playing. This rather sets them apart from other ensembles.”
MusicWeb International, April 2013