Phaeton Piano Trio Availability
February 7 – 18, 2020 | July 10 - 20, 2020
April 5 – 20, 2021
March 17 – 30, 2022
What the critics say:
“Lively, with finely calibrated dynamics, and perfectly balanced… The thrilling piano trio evening ended with energy and much virtuosity.”
— General Anzeiger (Bonn)
“Pianist Florian Uhlig, violinist Friedemann Eichhorn and cellist Peter Hörr proved already with the [opening] Piano Trio in C Major Hob XV:27 by Haydn, that based on technical perfection they listen closely and can seamlessly communicate with each other.”
“Spirited and virtuosic…”
— Schwäbische Post
“Highlight of the concert was the thrilling performance of the Dumky Trio by Dvorak... This fantastic achievement brought jubilant applause.“
— Wiesbadener Kurier
“Watch out for Friedemann Eichhorn…”
— The Strad
“Peter Hörr is a fantastic cellist.”
— The Guardian
“Florian Uhlig plays in a masterful fashion.”
— Süddeutsche Zeitung
“The members of the Phaeton Piano Trio are virtuosos who cannot be surpassed in their musicianship and who unconditionally place their art in the service of the interpretation.“
— Erlanger Nachrichten
Florian Uhlig, piano | Friedemann Eichhorn, violin
Peter Hörr, violoncello
Phaeton Piano Trio Live at Library of Congress
Mendelssohn Piano Trio D Minor Op. 49
“Best of Phaeton Piano Trio 2019/2020”
Live recordings from SR, SWR, and BR German radio
Haydn C | Beethoven D
Mendelssohn d | Schostakowitsch 2nd
The German Phaeton Piano Trio with Friedemann Eichhorn, violin, Peter Hörr, cello, and Florian Uhlig, piano—three German artists with an international career as chamber musician and soloist. As soloists they have been successfully touring the major stages throughout Europe, in Asia and North and South America for more than twenty years. Since joining forces a few years ago, the three musicians have been enjoying the treasures of the piano trio repertoire in concerts throughout Germany, in the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and South America. In the spring of 2018, in addition to its performance activities in, e.g., Zurich, Bonn, Munich, Berlin and Paris, the trio also embarked on a cycle of recordings with works by Mendelssohn and his contemporaries.
For the Beethoven anniversary, the trio will also offer a newly discovered trio fragment by Beethoven that will be published by the Henle Verlag and to which the trio will have the exclusive performance right to the end of 2020.
On its first tour to North America in February of 2020, the trio will make its US debut at the Library of Congress, and will also appear at the Frick Collection in NYC, in Cleveland, in San Jose and Los Angeles. In the summer of 2020, the trio will also make its Canada debut at several festivals.
Friedemann Eichhorn has performed as chamber music partner of G. Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, B. Pergamenschikov and many others. In addition to his extensive recording for Hänssler Classic and Naxos, he is Professor of violin at the Weimar Hochschule für Musik “Franz Liszt” and Artistic Director of the renowned Kronberg Academy.
Peter Hörr is a sought-after chamber music partner, notably as founding member of the Mozart Piano Quartet, an ensemble that performs worldwide, and a catalogue of recordings for the Dabringhaus & Grimm label. He was awarded the ECHO Classic Prize for his recording of the Duport cello concerti and has been Artistic Director of the Hofkapelle Weimar since 2010. Peter Hörr is Professor of cello at the Leipzig Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.”
Florian Uhlig made his orchestral debut at the London Barbican and has appeared at leading concert halls across the world, performing with renowned orchestras and conductors. The Hänssler Classic label has released around 20 of his CD recordings, including the complete Schumann and Ravel piano solo works. Florian Uhlig is Artistic Director of the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival and Professor of piano at the Dresden Hochschule für Musik “Carl Maria von Weber.”
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More what the critics say:
Phaeton Trio on Rocky River
Chamber Society Series (Feb. 10, 2020)
— February 24, 2020 by Nicholas Stevens
Every so often, the first seconds of a concert bring neither anxiety over how the rest will go nor twitchy overstimulation, neither boredom nor ecstasy, but a satisfying assurance. Some performances click right away, the musicians’ technique unimpeachable, their artistry and expression powerful, their manner warm but professional. Such concerts hold attention in a special way — the chances of a misstep negligible enough that listening never involves comparison to an abstract standard. In the Phaeton Trio’s recent tour de force in Rocky River, the initial gestures of the performance set a high standard that held throughout.
The German trio’s program on February 10, focused on monuments of Central European Romanticism, brought a weight and seriousness to the Rocky River Chamber Music Society’s season that did not stifle enjoyment. On the contrary, their traditionalism of repertoire, demeanor, and even attire — sharp black suits with glossy shoes — felt fresh.
The particular satisfaction of the concert’s first bars arrived at the intersection of motion and space. The brick box of West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church’s sanctuary can amplify loud sounds past the point of pleasure, but here worked perfectly to reveal this ensemble’s uncanny unity. Their confidence and togetherness made the first movement of Beethoven’s Trio in D (“Ghost”) a joy to hear. In the first three minutes alone, violinist Friedemann Eichhorn and cellist Peter Hörr used more styles, sizes, and speeds of vibrato than some manage in an entire concert, all responsive to the unique demands of every note. Also a thrill to watch, they moved freely and checked in with one another often, glued not to their stands but to one another.
Husky, mournful tones colored the opening of the second movement an autumnal shade. In this movement, the ensemble’s overarching aesthetic became clear. Allowing unexpected or pivotal harmonies to blossom dramatically, the Phaeton also keep their expression in check for long enough stretches that moments of high emotion — such as the climax of this famously dark movement — become riots of floral excess at the centers of shadowy canvases. Pianist Florian Uhlig made the recurring trills of the ending sound worlds apart each time they appeared. In the third movement, the Trio members shouted their joys to the heavens, throwing caution to the winds at chosen moments.
Hörr’s solo opened Mendelssohn’s Trio in d like a Romantic song narrator singing softly and sadly at the side of a forest brook. His presence colored the rest of the movement, the noise of his bow attacking the string gloriously physical, and the sound of his low strings powerful enough to make one wonder why we ever needed double basses.
Uhlig’s personality as a chamber musician became clearer in the second movement. Mostly keeping out of the way, he revealed his unique power in the group by teetering on the edges of resolutions, making certain cadences feel like standing tiptoe on the lip of a canyon. The players tap-danced through Mendelssohn’s tricky rhythms in the scherzo, but took the finale seriously, speeding along toward the final cadence in a carefully gauged sequence of escalations.
Thrilling though some of its moments are, Dvořák’s Trio in e (“Dumky”) makes for a difficult closer. Its idiosyncratic form, which gave these players chances to find textures that were glossy, lush, and somehow both at once, offers little sense of directed intensification toward a goal. A feature rather than a bug in the piece’s design, after Beethoven and Mendelssohn’s grand edifices, this suspension of the normal order felt like an indulgence. Nevertheless, the players made the most of Dvořák’s excursions into folksy energy, embracing the trace of showmanship that the piece’s splashiest moments virtually mandate.
An encore, the slow movement from Beethoven’s Trio in B-flat, Op. 11, retained a bit of the looser feel that arrived with the Dvořák piece — fitting, perhaps, for a tune that resembles Happy Birthday. It brought an already appreciative audience to its feet.
About Nicholas Stevens
Nicholas Stevens teaches music history at Case Western Reserve University. His recently completed dissertation focuses on contemporary opera, though his interests range from Baroque oratorios and grand operas to modernist music and poetic pop. He was a fellow at the Library of Congress in 2015, and an Affiliate at the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities in 2016. A frequent presence at various Northeast Ohio concerts and arts events, he also runs the trails and sidewalks of Cleveland Heights, and enjoys exploring the greater Cleveland area with friends.
— February 24, 2020 by Nicholas Stevens