“Among the world’s piano trios, there is none better.” (Time Magazine)
In its debut recording for Warner Classics, the legendary Beaux Arts Trio recreates its very first recording, made 50 years ago in 1954. For half a century, the Trio has been delighting audiences around the world.
The Beaux Arts Trio of New York made its official debut in July 1955 replacing a rival trio in concert at the Berkshire Music Festival in Tanglewood. The following season the Trio gave 80 concerts and were soon touring internationally. They have never looked back.
“The Beaux Arts Trio has retained its almost utopian level of music making; high drama and poignant understatement coexisted in perfect balance. The reining-in and release of tension was masterful and, throughout, the sense of discovery was palpable.” (The Washington Post)
When the Beaux Arts Trio started to perform together, it was rare to hear the piano trio repertoire well prepared. Most groups were made up of soloists who came together occasionally to play a limited repertoire. What made the Beaux Arts Trio special was that they performed the widest possible repertoire with the skill of soloists and the tight ensemble usually heard only from quartets.
The original line-up of the Beaux Arts Trio consisted of violinist Daniel Guilet, cellist Bernard Greenhouse and pianist Menahem Pressler. When Daniel Guilet retired in 1969 at the age of 70, the other Trio members chose Isidore Cohen as his replacement. Now Cohen and Greenhouse have both retired and violinists Ani Kavafian and Dong-Suk Kang have come and gone, as has the cellist Peter Wiley. Menahem Pressler has remained, maintaining the Beaux Arts Trio’s quality and acting as elder statesman to British violinist Daniel Hope and Brazilian cellist Antonio Meneses. Over the years the Beaux Arts Trio has maintained its freshness while preserving its distinctive musical heritage.
“Its performances are by now so unified and refined that it would seem impossible for the three artists to extract further nuances from the music they play. They work within a very delicate area and the minute degree of tonal variation that they achieve is little short of miraculous. Miraculous, too, is the level of rhythmic vitality and overall spontaneity that they maintain… Beaux Arts is in a class by itself.”
(The New York Times)
“After the Beaux Arts Trio’s debut at Tanglewood in 1955, Charles Munch, the legendary director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, wrote, ‘The Beaux Arts Trio is a worthy successor to the last great trio of Thibaud, Casals, and Cortot.’ And Maestro Arturo Toscanini said, ‘Impeccable taste and musicianship. Their performance is an inspiring experience.’… If there is a finer piano trio before the public today, I have not heard it… the key to it all is that they are not three performers on stage, but a true artistic unit, that in their hands a trio becomes a living thing in which three minds and bodies have been synthesized into a single musical entity.” (Chicago Sun-Times)