THE STRAD RECOMMENDS
The Strad Issue: November 2020
Description: Trio’s pitch-perfect approach to Mozart yields many delights
Musicians: Jacques Thibaud String Trio
Works: Mozart: Complete String Trios
Catalogue number: AUDITE 97773
The Jacques Thibaud String Trio has Mozart’s E flat major Trio K563 down to the finest of arts. The musicians’ playing is robust, vibrant and full of character right from the start, where they are both sotto voce as marked and musically commanding. The opening of the development is truly quiet, and has an air of enchantment, but when the semiquavers fly in this movement they are exuberant. They play with grace and elegance in the second movement Adagio, its steady, dignified flow punctuated by the occasional slackening of tempo at cadences. After the high spirits of the first Menuetto the Trio enters a different landscape, more intimate and seeming to find its way as it goes, gently and rhythmically free. In the central Andante the players come to happy life in their concerto-like solos, and they scurry wonderfully through the demisemiquavers of the final maggiore section. The first trio of the following Menuetto has po-faced humour, and the finale is graceful.
The CD includes Mozart’s arrangements of various preludes and fugues by J.S. Bach and one by W.F. Bach. Mozart may have written several of the preludes, although this is debated. Still, they are beautifully played, with sensitive shaping of lines and interplay between voices.