“An impressive Trout that brings some exceptional you musicians tot the fore…… A distinctive disc celebrating the emerging mastery of Martin Helmchen.”
“I wonder sometimes if Schubert was a fisherman. Poor chap, his posthumus reputation at least has had much trouble getting away from that ubiquitous Trout…….Anyway, I have fallen for this beautifully recorded PentaTone release hook, line and sinker.”
International Record Review
“From the very opening chord of the Trout Quintet, the sound is so startling that I felt like I was still in the marvelous sound world of Claudio Abbado’s DG recording of Mahler’s Symphony 6, which I had been listening to. The four strings and the piano are captured with such a rich, vibrant, and present sound that even pizzicatos are a physical experience. No, the sound is not jarring; it’s simply the most realistic “best seat in the house” chamber music sound I think I’ve ever heard recorded. I was bathed in music.”
American Record Guide
“This PentaTone SACD, featuring a group of outstanding solo performers, is simply outstanding and to call this release great is probably accurate. The recording quality is unsurpassed by other commercial releases I have heard recently…….. This superb recording has everything going for it and for listeners. If you are new to chamber music, this music is possibly the very best introduction for many reasons. The fullness, richness and palpable power of a well recorded quintet that adds a piano and double bass to a typical string trio can sound closer to a string orchestra than to a trio. Then top that advantage with simply beautifully appealing music. The final and perhaps overwhelming reason for many people is simply the very natural or realistic sound quality. Every one of the quintet’s instruments sounds so good, so close to the “real thing”, though the piano seems to be even “closer” and particularly well reproduced, very impressively so to the extent that I do not have any other comparison to offer!”
“This PentaTone SACD is excellent in all formats and gives the listener a varied and rewarding concert of Schubert’s chamber works. While PentaTone already has a first-class recording of the quintet in its RQR catalogue - the wonderful recording by an augmented Beaux Arts Trio - this newcomer provides a sufficiently different consideration of the work to merit its addition, and is warmly welcomed.”
“What ravishing beauty there is on this disc. All three pieces are well known to varying degrees, and each receives outstanding treatment here…..PentaTone’s near-perfect sound makes this self-recommending."
"BBC Music Choice"
This is a marvellous disc, one of the most enjoyable I have heard in a long time”
BBC Music Magazine
“There are currently 90 listings of the “Trout” Quintet for the unusual combination of piano, string trio, and double bass. What distinguishes this one from most of the other eighty-nine is the coolly accomplished, no-nonsense approach of Helmchen and his mates. This is one of the most smoothly articulated accounts I have ever heard of this well-loved work. In the opening movement, marked Allegro vivace, the blend of the strings is ideal, especially in the pianissimo passages, when they are virtually muted. The tone of Tetzlaff’s violin at this moment is indescribably beautiful.”
Dr Phil Muse
Atlanta Audio Society
“Young pianist Martin Helmchen again shows his affinity for Schubert in this magnificent reading of the Trout Quintet. The lovely Trockne Blumen variations, here played on a wooden flute by Aldo Baertenm and Helmchen, is a delight, and the exquisite Notturno brings this well-filled disk to a close. Wonderfully natural sound on this recording made in Siemens Villa, Berlin, August 2008.”
“There is no finer performance available, and certainly none better recorded: gorgeous, perfectly natural sound whether in regular stereo or SACD surround-sound. So what makes this performance so special? First, and speaking generally, this has got to be one of the most shapely, elegant, and effortlessly flowing versions ever committed to disc. Every phrase breathes, but in such a way that the character of the line always supports what the music seems to want to do. The "interpretation" simply dissolves into the pure experience of Schubert.”
“And the super audio sound by the Dutch PentaTone label is so realistic one cannot only hear Baerten breathe, one can almost smell the wood of his flute.”
“It is with great pleasure that we once again hear the pianist Martin Helmchen, here accompanied by dedicated artists who offer a passionate vision, exemplary in “The Trout” Quintet. With finesse, their playing brings life to and invigorates a score that has long been frozen in time. Here then is great artistry, in a pure DSD recording of the first order which enables us to fully appreciate the tones of the instruments being played.”
Repertoire ***** Sound *****
Interpretation***** Sound Quality: *****
“I have enjoyed repeat playing of this disc over and over for many days and I heartily recommend these performances.”
Richard S. Foster
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