Alexander Melnikov, Pablo Heras Casado, Et Al : Schumann: Piano Concerto Op. 54, Piano Trio No. 2 Op. 80


96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Harmonia Mundi HMC 902198 (supplied by

As with their Dvorák series with the Czech PO, Faust/Melnikov/Queyras are coupling a chamber work with a concerto – this time with a period-instrument orchestra. For the Schumann Concerto, Melnikov has elected to play a robust 1837 Érard; then an 1847 Streicher in the Trio – with more body than the one heard in their Trio No 3 [HMC 902196]. Clear and open, this is an attractive recording, with some subtle detailing mostly from Faust. The Concerto is more unsettling. In (i) Melnikov’s playing is at times brusque, loud, then artful and soft – contrasts quite violently imposed, although fully matched by the orchestra, with its reedy wind timbres and dry timps. The Intermezzo is bright, extravert, but the finale is rather plain and charmless. CB

Sound Quality: 75%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Recorded at the Teldex Studio in Berlin, this 96kHz download is as clean as a whistle. The upper harmonics of the fortepiano reach 8-10kHz, the remaining bandwidth occupied by the orchestral strings and brass (horn/trumpet). PM