Trio Ismena: Five Danish Piano Trios

review trio x1 cong

Since we started reviewing classical CDs, we’ve noticed two things: most CDs get no reviews at all and many reviews that do appear don’t say much. “It’s good to have a chance to hear all five works so superbly played,” says the Music Web review of this, which is 100% true but 100% uninformative — it is good to hear work played well, but how good is that music?

And who’d bother to record a classical CD of music played badly? It’s a bit like Eddie Izzard’s old joke about the saying “he doesn’t tolerate fools”. Who does tolerate fools? “Come in fool, and waste my time,” said no-one, ever.

We’ve had this for a while (it came out in October) and played it quite a lot. We’ve just never warmed to it. We think the Nordic melancholy has stepped over the line from appealingly dark to just cold, the difference between watching the sun going down over the Arctic Circle and freezing to death in the tundra.

Another person might like it: if you like bleak but modern 20th century music it is well played. It’s also good to hear people pushing the boundaries and experimenting but while it’s technically excellent it’s a dry listen.

The composers featured are Svend Hvidtfelt Nielsen (b 1958), Jesper Koch (b 1967), Lars Hegaard (b 1950), Ib Nørholm (b 1931) and Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen b 1932).
Out now on Da Capo (8226583).

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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