The Strad issue
A high level of playing from an international trio
Trio Latitude 41: Livia Sohn (violin) Luigi Piovano (cello) Bernadene Blaha (piano)
Formed in 2009, Trio Latitude 41 was so named because of the common latitude of the cellist’s base in Rome and the trio’s first performance in Rhode Island. Judging by this superb disc, the trio is a happy meeting of European and American players.
Schubert’s Trio No.2 is performed with a restrained use of vibrato from the outset, giving the first movement a transparent texture in this beautifully balanced recording. Juilliard School graduate Livia Sohn performs with great sensitivity and the second subject of this movement is especially clear. It is answered by well-matched cello playing in the second movement by Luigi Piovano, principal cellist of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome. The scherzo is perhaps rather steadily paced and the finale, too, is a little lacking in ultimate drama but this is fine playing in the modern style. Bernadene Blaha’s fluid pianism acts as an excellent advertisement for the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, where she works.
The Notturno in E flat major reveals similar traits and is a charming if modest work, although there is rather less interest here both in terms of composition and performance. The sum total, however, is a highly enjoyable disc.