I love getting mail, and one of the benefits of blogging about classical music and its tangents is that I get all sorts of things sent to me on a fairly regular basis. Most of them go unmentioned and unreviewed, but every once in a while I like to tip my hat to all those nice marketing people who help me stay in, or at least around, the loop. So thanks, everyone, and keep up the good work.
One quick note about a recent delivery: Sony has just released an album of Mendelssohn's piano trios played by Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and Emanuel Ax who, unbelievably, have never recorded anything together in all these years. I was looking forward to hearing what they put together, and after listening to the disc a couple of times, I'm not quite sure where I stand in re. thumbs up or down. On the one hand, the playing is superb, particularly where Manny Ax is concerned, and some of the phrasing is really very clever, especially in the C minor trio. On the other hand, the group suffers a bit from Superbanditis, which is to say it sounds like a collection of three soloists rather than a cohesive piano trio. Don't get me wrong, I can listen to Ma and Perlman play all day, and I'm just tickled the latter seems to be more or less back in form after his shoulder woes, but all in all I'm pretty sure I'd rather listen to the Beaux Arts Trio's 1992 recording. It might be a bit rough, but it's rough in all the right places. That said, if you're a Ma, Ax, and Perlman fan, you'd probably do well to pick up a copy. The album will be released on February 2nd, and if it sees its shadow, we'll be in for six more weeks of winter.