This, the second volume of Sibelius’s works for piano trios, consists of almost entirely world première recordings – as is almost becoming the rule for a BIS/Sibelis release! The present works are all from 1887 - c. 1895 and follow chronologically upon the first volume (BIS-CD-1282). Together the two discs present the composer’s complete output in this genre
On Volume 2, the only piece previously recorded is the Lovisa Trio, a bright, sunny and optimistic work – characteristics which may spring from the fact that it was composed by the 23-year old Sibelius in the family’s beloved summer residence in the Finnish town of Lovisa. (It is believed that the family trio – Jean and his siblings Christian and Linda – performed it there in 1888.) But it is possibly another work which will be of even more interest to many. In the words of one Sibelius expert: ‘Of Sibelius’s early chamber pieces, few have a more urgent claim on the repertoire than the great Korpo Trio of 1887.’ This is by far the biggest – and the most substantial - work on this disc (35 min), with a hugely wide emotional range – from the lightly classical to passages reminiscent of Rachmaninov.
The programme concludes with another rarity, though on a smaller scale. It is a march in C major which will surely surprise all Sibelius fans as it shows a completely unexpected side of the composer. In fact, the piece rather leads the mind to Saint-Saëns and Carnival of the Animals than to the creator of brooding masterpieces such as the Lemminkäinen Suite. On this disc is reunited the musicians and producer from the previous volume – a disc of which the reviewer in International Record Review wrote: ‘The performances are alert and intelligent, the recording exemplary and wonderfully present.’