Take an Israeli, a Frenchman and an Iranian born in Austria, put all them together on a stage in Aix-en-Provence with the scores of the Russian and Czech masters in front of them. They then record it live and the result is just about the best CD of the year 2019.
The Tchaikovsky and Dvorák piano trios recorded on 5 April 2018 are of course ‘gefundenes fressen’ for a lover of chamber music. After all, the opening bars of Tchaikovsky’s opus 50 alone will surely stay in your mind.
Whether this performance is better than that of the Beaux Arts Trio or the trio of Perlman/Ashkenazy/Harrell (to name but two)? No, I do not think so. But it is definitely more exciting. I don’t want to put the word refreshing in my mouth, but of course it is. What you hear here is the unpolished sound of a real live performance. You can hear the passion.
The three protagonists, Laham Shani (piano), Renaud Capuçon (violin) and Kian Soltani (cello) not only know how to bring to life the sad stories behind the notes, but they also make them more tangible. Intense. No, these performances will not leave you unmoved.
If the supporters of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) had their way, this CD would never have been recorded. The reason is simple: Lahav Shani, in everyday life chief conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and also a gifted pianist, is an Israeli. And those well-meaning pseudo do-gooders of course want none of that. Fortunately, there is still such a thing as music, where all people can actually become ‘brothers’ and where playing together is elevated to the highest level..
Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A, op. 50
Dvorák: Piano Trio No. 3 in F, op. 65
Lahav Shani (piano), Renaud Capuçon (violin), Kian Soltani (cello)