- Piano Trio No. 1 in F major, Op. 18
- Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 92
It hardly matters that Saint-Saens composed his first Piano Trio in 1863 and his second nearly three decades later in 1892. Both are brilliantly composed; both are instantly comprehensible; both are filled with memorable melodies; both abound in original touches; and both are clearly cut from the same bolt of colorful but by no means garish Romantic cloth. Although some might object that Saint-Saens’ unsurpassed technical facility caused him to compose music which is more form than content, there are few who could complain of the results when they are as attractive as these Trios, especially in these wholly persuasive performances by Britain’s Florestan Trio. All three are terrific musicians whose technique in impeccable and whose ensemble is unimpeachable. Clear-eyed but warm-hearted, the Florestan Trio ideally balances heart and mind in Saint-Saens’ music. In the lyrical four movement F major Trio, the Florestan express the work’s Romantic melodies within its classical forms. In the dramatic five movement E minor Trio, the Florestan embrace the work’s passionate nature within its controlled structures. Listeners who enjoy the Trios of Schumann, Brahms and Dvorák will surely enjoy the Trios of Saint-Saens, particularly in the deep and detailed sound of these Hyperion recordings.