Mendelssohn: Piano Trios: Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax

05.16.10
Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma
Pittsburgh Tribune

A new musical dream team makes its debut on this Sony Classical CD of the two Piano Trios of Felix Mendelssohn. Violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax each perform at their legendary best and are obviously inspired by living the music together. The CD honors Mendelssohn on the 200th anniversary of his birth, and includes an excellent essay by Ax and comments by Ma and Perlman. The music making itself is filled with loving devotion. The first movements of both trios are slower than expected, but the interpretations are actually full of variety and include well-signified details that are usually overlooked. It all sounds so natural that the musicians seem to be mediums for Mendelssohn's genius. The sound is utterly natural and transparent. No surprise because the producer is Steven Epstein, who in the 1990s oversaw the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's excellent recordings for this label.