A Retrospective / Trio Zimmermann

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There is no better recordings of the strio trio repertoire than those you will find here. - David Hurwitz (ClassicsToday.com)

In 2007 Frank Peter Zimmermann was able to realize his long-cherished dream to establish a string trio, together with Antoine Tamestit and Christian Poltéra. Three individually superb string players do not necessarily add up to a top-flight trio – even if they all play on instruments by Stradivarius, as here – but Trio Zimmermann immediately made a name for itself at international festivals and prestigious concert venues.

In 2010 the trio released its first album – with Mozart's seminal Divertimento – to critical acclaim. (More than 10 years later, that recording was the top recommendation in the Record Review series Building a Library on BBC Radio 3.) On following offerings, the ensemble explored the later repertoire for string trio: two discs with Beethoven's contributions to the genre, and a third with works by Hindemith and Schoenberg which have garnered distinctions such as Diapason de l’Année, the Chamber Award from BBC Music Magazine and a ‘Jahrespreis’ from the German Record Critics’ Award association. For their fifth disc to date the trio went back in time, however, as the three members together prepared a performing version of Bach's Goldberg Variations, described as ‘a triumph of combined technical ingenuity and musical insight’ in The Strad. These five discs have now been collected into a boxed-set retrospective, offering lovers of chamber music more than 5 hours of glorious music-making, in top-notch sound and including the original booklets with full documentation.

Past praise for previously released albums included in this set:

Bach: Goldberg Variations

The expertise and fluency of the Zimmermann's playing is evident. Their approach to dynamics is refreshingly flexible, and all three players bring a graceful approach to ornamentation.

-- BBC Music Magazine

Beethoven: String Trios, Op. 9, Nos. 1-3

These musicians are in command of the meticulously written extremes in expression, sforzandos not indiscriminately stabbed at but gauged according to the contexts in which they appear. Tempi are gauged to a nicety too. In sum, they do Beethoven proud throughout this exceptionally fine disc.

-- Gramophone

Hindemith & Schoenberg: String Trios

The Trio Zimmermann play them both Hindemith works with such energy, panache, and attention to the minutest detail that they are totally convincing and make a perfect foil to the rigors of the Schoenberg that follows.

-- The Guardian

Trio Zimmermann play Mozart & Schubert

The Zimmerman Trio plays with remarkably accurate intonation and a ravishing tone that’s also mindful of the Classical style. In other words, they don’t lay it on too thick, but they aren’t afraid to let the melodic lines sing. Schubert’s single-movement trio makes the perfect coupling.

-- ClassicsToday.com (10/10; David Hurwitz)

Beethoven: String Trios, Op. 3; Serenade, Op. 8

The Zimmermann Trio offers what must be the finest recording of Beethoven's Op. 3 since the classic mono Heifetz/Primrose/Piatigorsky version. They bring out all of the first movement’s requisite brio, paying heed to the syncopated rhythmic underpinnings that support the scampering triplet passages. The ensemble lightens its sonority for the Andante without sacrificing body and definition, while they articulate the Menuetto’s two-note phrase groups and subito dynamics in strict tempo yet in a way that’s oblivious to the bar lines. While the Finale is a model of controlled ferocity, the musicians are not afraid to let the lyrical sections sing out sweetly (never cloyingly).

Power and delicacy effortlessly coexist in the Serenade’s opening March, while subtle dynamic gradations distinguish the Menuetto’s loud arpeggiatted tuttis. The Adagio’s long unison lines offer cogent proof that one can employ minimum vibrato and still retain a focused and alive sonority. The March returns da capo at the end of the piece, with slightly more emphatic fortes and lighter pianos this time around. The warmth, clarity, and ambient realism of BIS’s surround-sound engineering holds equal appeal when experienced in conventional stereo playback mode. This release is not just a worthy follow-up to the Zimmermann Trio’s magnificent Mozart K. 563 and Beethoven Op. 9 Trio traversals, but a reference disc in its own right. Bravo!

-- ClassicsToday.com (10/10; Jed Distler)

Product Description:

  • Release Date: May 06, 2022

  • Catalog Number: BIS-2677

  • UPC: 7318599926773

  • Label: BIS

  • Number of Discs: 5

  • Period: Baroque

  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Trio Zimmermann


  1. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (arr. Trio Zimmermann for Trio)

    Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach

    Ensemble: Trio Zimmermann

  2. Divertimento in E-Flat Major, K. 563

    Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Ensemble: Trio Zimmermann

  3. String Trio in B-Flat Major, D. 471

    Composer: Franz Schubert

    Ensemble: Trio Zimmermann

  4. String Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 3

    Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ensemble: Trio Zimmermann

  5. Serenade in D Major, Op. 8

    Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ensemble: Trio Zimmermann

  6. String Trio in G Major, Op. 9, No. 1

    Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ensemble: Trio Zimmermann

  7. String Trio in D Major, Op. 9, No. 2

    Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ensemble: Trio Zimmermann

  8. String Trio in C Minor, Op. 9, No. 3

    Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ensemble: Trio Zimmermann

  9. String Trio No. 1, Op. 34

    Composer: Paul Hindemith

    Ensemble: Trio Zimmermann

  10. String Trio No. 2

    Composer: Paul Hindemith

    Ensemble: Trio Zimmermann

  11. String Trio, Op. 45

    Composer: Arnold Schoenberg

    Ensemble: Trio Zimmermann