FOURNIER, JANIGRO, SCHERCHEN The Piano Trios Collection (1951-53) - PABX021

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FOURNIER, JANIGRO, SCHERCHEN The Piano Trios Collection (1951-53) - PABX021

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Overview

BEETHOVEN "Archduke" Trio (1951)
BRAHMS Piano Trio No. 1 (1953)
HAYDN Four Piano Trios (1952)
MOZART Piano Trios, complete (1953)
SCHUBERT Piano Trio No. 1 (1951)

Jean Fournier, violin
Antonio Janigro,
cello
Paul Badura-Skoda,
piano

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This set contains the following albums:

Click below to expand note:
FOURNIER, JANIGRO, BADURA-SKODA Schubert: Piano Trio No. 1 (1951) - PACM027

Fournier, Janigro & Badura-Skoda play Schubert

1951 Westminster LP recording remastered for finest sound quality


The trio of Fournier, Janigro and Badura-Skoda made a number of excellent recordings for New York-based Westminster Recordings in the 1950s, which we're delighted to revisit here at Pristine Audio Direct, thanks to the efforts of vinyl restoration wizard, Peter Harrison.

By comparison to the Cortot-Thibaud-Casals recording of Schubert's first Piano Trio (PASC021), here the work can, perhaps with the luxury of vinyl side durations, breathe a little more easy. However, don't be fooled by the difference in durations between the two - although this recording does take each movement more slowly, it is largely thanks to a major cut in the third movement that the earlier recording comes in nearly five minutes shorter.

It is this more expansive side of their playing that we've chosen to highlight here with the the slow, 2nd movement available for free download. While there is little doubt of the feeling in Casal's cello entry from the 1926 recording, here Janigro appears to almost pour the notes from his cello, and that extra time allocated to the movement allows him just a little more expressiveness.

(Note that the poor tape edit heard at approx. 3'43" is as originally issued.)

Andrew Rose

FOURNIER, JANIGRO & BADURA-SKODA Beethoven: "Archduke" Trio (1951) - PACM028

Fournier, Janigro and Badura-Skoda play Beethoven

Westminster classical LP recording remastered for finest sound quality


To include repeats or not to include repeats? If it means your listener will be forever changing sides of 78s you'll probably leave most of them out, whereas with the fuller span of an LP you can afford to be a little more generous - hence the extra five and half minutes of Beethoven heard on this recording, by comparison to our 1943 Solomon-Holst-Pini release (PACM022).


However, if the third, slow movement had been taken here at the same pace as the earlier recording a further minute could have been added to the duration here - clearly the trio felt no need to use their extra time needlessly!

I've chosen to highlight with our free download here the final movement, where Fournier, Janigro and Badura-Skoda begin with a sense of real jollity so clear that you can definitely hear them smiling at each other as they play!

Once again I'm glad to report an excellent job of restoration by Peter Harrison, who seems to do the impossible and raise the bar every month on what can be achieved from these 1950's mono recordings. Take a listen and you'll hear a superb recording, wonderfully played, and not a hint that it's 54 years old.


Andrew Rose


FOURNIER, JANIGRO & BADURA-SKODA Mozart: Piano Trios, Vol. 1 (1953) - PACM032

Fournier, Janigro and Badura-Skoda play Mozart

The complete Piano Trios Pt. 1, remastered for finest sound quality


We continue our re-evaluation of recordings made by Jean Fournier, Antonio Janigro and Paul Badura-Skoda with their complete Mozart Piano Trios, of which this is the first of two volumes. The first of these, written in August 1776, was entitled a Divertimento by the composer and came some ten years before the Trio in B flat (K502). Its style is perhaps closer to a violin sonata, with the cello largely relegated to echoing the bass line of the piano.

That said, the violin hardly takes centre stage in the Divertimento either - indeed in all three works here we find excellent piano music supported by violin and underpinned by cello. Indeed these works rate amongst Mozart's finest compositions for the piano - the Trio in G (K564) was originally conceived as a piano sonata, with the string parts added some time later.

Thus we have some marvellous Mozart, which is perhaps nowhere near as well known as it deserves to be (a check in the recording catalogues shows not a single LP available in the UK of Mozart's trios in the late 1970s, for example), superb playing, and excellent recordings brought back to life thanks to the mercurial touch of vinyl maestro Peter Harrison. Take a listen to our sample, the opening movement of the Divertimento, and see if you can resist it!

Andrew Rose

FOURNIER, JANIGRO & BADURA-SKODA Mozart: Piano Trios, Vol. 2 (1953) - PACM033

Fournier, Janigro and Badura-Skoda play Mozart

The complete Piano Trios Pt. 2, remastered for finest sound quality


We continue our reevaluation of recordings made by Jean Fournier, Antonio Janigro and Paul Badura-Skoda with their complete Mozart Piano Trios, of which this is the second of two volumes.

The of the three works presented here, the Trio in G, K496, dates from 1786, the other two from 1788, the year in which Mozart wrote his three last symphonies. All three are in impeccable Mozartian taste, though it is only with the later two that we start to see him considering something a little more adventurous for the cellist than had previously been the case. Up until these works, the cello part generally offered simple support to the piano's lower notes, but in the middle movement of the Trio in E, K542, there is the suggestion of the kind of balance of forces between piano and strings which would later be more typical of Beethoven or Schubert.

Similarly it is the slow middle movement of the Trio in C, K549, which appears to foreshadow Schubert, a composer more usually associated with the lineage of Beethoven and Haydn. The final movement is purely Mozartian, a "tightly written" rondo (in the words of the original sleevenotes) and it is this which is offer when you click on the play button here.

Thus we have some marvellous Mozart, which is perhaps nowhere near as well known as it deserves to be (a check in the recording catalogues shows not a single LP available in the UK of Mozart's trios in the late 1970s, for example), superb playing, and excellent recordings brought back to life thanks to the mercurial touch of vinyl maestro Peter Harrison.

Andrew Rose

FOURNIER, JANIGRO & BADURA-SKODA Brahms: Piano Trio No. 1 (1953) - PACM043

Fournier, Janigro and Badura-Skoda play Brahms

Westminster classical LP recording remastered for finest sound quality


With their reading of Brahms' wonderful Piano Trio in B, once again Fournier, Janigro and Badura-Skoda show what a wonderful ensemble they were. We already have a number of their 1950's Westminster recordings in our catalogue, all wonderfully restored by Peter Harrison, and this is most surely a worthy addition.

Brahms completed this Trio at the age of just twenty-one, and poured into it all the exhuberance of youth. Yet what we hear now is that exuberance married to the experience of a long and highly successful life in music, as the work was substantially revised - indeed "recomposed" - in 1889, some 35 years later.

This tightening up stripped quite a substantial amount out of the original, whilst managing to maintain the youthfulness of the original, and it is the later version that is most often heard and recorded. Whether or not this is a good thing was questionable even at the time - Brahms wrote to his publisher "I must categorically state that the old one is bad, but I do not maintain that the new one is good."

Well far be it from me to question the great composer on this point, suffice to say that it remains one of my favourite pieces of chamber music, and this fabulous recorded version is well worth hearing.

Andrew Rose


FOURNIER, JANIGRO & BADURA-SKODA Haydn: Four Piano Trios (1952) - PACM070

Haydn's exquisite Piano Trios brilliantly executed

In superb fully XR-remastered sound quality for the first time


The chief source for this release was a c.1957 Westminster LP. A particularly good copy of an excellent set of recordings, it was further enhanced by XR remastering. The final Trio, No. 23 in E flat, was sourced from a British HMV release, licensed by EMI from Westminster (it appeared on XWN 18611) as a side-two filler to the ensembles recording of Schubert's Trio No. 2 in E flat.


If anything, the earlier Westminster pressing was superior to the HMV disc, though both were pretty immaculate. The main difficulty faced here was simple identification of the trios - Haydn wrote a good number, and as with much of his output there is confusion both in terms of numbering, order of composition, and possibly even how many he actually wrote.

The numbering here is based on renowned Haydn scholar H. Robbins Landon's ordering, which bears no relation to the numbering on the LPs (which did not list the Hoboken numbers) - Westminster numbered these in the following order::, No 1, No. 28, No. 30 and No. 17. Finally, the first movement of Trio No. 23 is listed here as Allegro moderato, which is how it appears on a recent issue by the Beaux Arts Trio. It is marked on HMV's LP as Andante - yet the present tempo is noticeably swifter than that of the Beaux Arts...


Andrew Rose


Click below to expand track listing:
FOURNIER, JANIGRO, BADURA-SKODA Schubert: Piano Trio No. 1 (1951) - PACM027
  • SCHUBERT Piano Trio No 1 in B flat, D898
    Recorded 15-30 October 1951
    Released as Westminster WL5188 and XWN18481
    Duration 35:17


Jean Fournier, violin
Paul Badura-Skoda,
piano
Antonio Janigro, cello

FOURNIER, JANIGRO & BADURA-SKODA Beethoven: "Archduke" Trio (1951) - PACM028
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Trio No 7 in B flat, Op. 97, "Archduke"
    Recorded 15-30 October 1951, Konzerthaus, Mozart-Saal, Vienna
    Released as Westminster WL5131 & XWN18270
    Duration 40:03


Jean Fournier, violin
Paul Badura-Skoda,
piano
Antonio Janigro, cello

FOURNIER, JANIGRO & BADURA-SKODA Mozart: Piano Trios, Vol. 1 (1953) - PACM032
  • MOZART Divertimento in B flat major, K.254

  • MOZART Piano Trio in G major, K.564

  • MOZART Piano Trio in B flat major, K.502

    Recorded c.1953, Konzerthaus, Mozart-Saal, Vienna

    Released as Westminster LPs 52-84 & 52-42
    Duration 61:23


Jean Fournier, violin
Paul Badura-Skoda, piano
Antonio Janigro, cello


FOURNIER, JANIGRO & BADURA-SKODA Mozart: Piano Trios, Vol. 2 (1953) - PACM033
  • MOZART Piano Trio in E major, K.542

  • MOZART Piano Trio in G major, K.496

  • MOZART Piano Trio in C major, K.548

    Recorded c.1953, Konzerthaus, Mozart-Saal, Vienna

    Released as Westminster LPs 52-42, 52-67
    Duration 65:18


Jean Fournier, violin
Paul Badura-Skoda,
piano
Antonio Janigro,
cello


FOURNIER, JANIGRO & BADURA-SKODA Brahms: Piano Trio No. 1 (1953) - PACM043

BRAHMS Piano Trio No. 1 in B, Op. 8

Jean Fournier, violin
Antonio Janigro,
cello
Paul Badura-Skoda,
piano

Recorded in 1953, issued as Westminster XWN 18450
Duration: 33'23"

FOURNIER, JANIGRO & BADURA-SKODA Haydn: Four Piano Trios (1952) - PACM070

    HAYDN Piano Trio No. 39 in G major, HOB XV:25
    HAYDN Piano Trio No. 18 in G major, HOB XV:5
    HAYDN
    Piano Trio No. 28 in D major, HOB XV:16
    HAYDN
    Piano Trio No. 23 in E flat major, HOB XV:10

    Recorded in 1952
    Transfers from Westminster XWN18610 9) and HMV XLP 20067
    Transfers and XR remastering by Andrew Rose at Pristine Audio, May-July 2010
    Cover artwork based on photographs of Fournier, Janigro and Badura-Skoda
    Total duration: 53:56

    Jean Fournier, violin
    Paul Badura-Skoda,
    piano
    Antonio Janigro,
    cello