Album: Mendelssohn, Piano Trios Opus 49 and 66 (Avie)

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The Independent Culture

No disrespect to Emanuel Ax, Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma but the Benvenue Fortepiano Trio's Mendelssohn has more vitality than the Sony supergroup's burnished account.

There is no question of who is in charge: fortepianist Eric Zivian's teaspoon-on-bone-china arpeggios dictate the speed and timbre, while the violin (Monica Huggett) and cello (Tonya Tomkins) dart about like the fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream. The laughing motif of the finale of 66 is a little mannered but the warmth of 49 is unimpeachable.