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What the critics say:
“The PhaetonTrio fascinated with its joy of music-making and its beguilingly beautiful ensemble sound…. — Not by chance did the trio name itself after the son of the Greek Sun God Helios. Phaeton, the shining one, drove his father’s sun chariot harnessed with four fiery steeds across the sky during the day, returning at night to the sea. As demanding as the name is, so fantastic is the ensemble.”
— Ipf-und Jagd Zeitung
“…sublime beauty of sound…
— Schwaebische Post
“This intensity fascinated from the very start. Every bow attack, every caesura, the formation of every tone along with the dialogue-like ensemble between violin and cello, and the pearl-like ease of the piano, all contributed to the impression that the trio not only shone as brilliant soloists, but that they joined to present an organic “sound body”. And thus the interpretation turned into a thrilling collective act.”
— Westdeutsche Zeitung
“Thanks to a highly musical art of storytelling and a smart dramaturgical presentation, the trio reveals the seemingly unending romantic potential of this music.” (Dvorak’s “Dumky”)
— Schwetzinger Zeitung
“The choice of Beethoven, Fazil Say and Dvorak’s Dumky made for a great program and reminded us of some of the most exciting chamber music evenings in the Speyer Rathsaal. One enjoyed humorous attacks, colorful tonal qualities, daring outbursts, and genuinely playful fire.”
— Die Rheinpfalz – Speyer
“It took a while for the audience to come back to reality and call the musicians repeatedly back to the stage with an applause that did not want to end.”
— Erlanger Nachrichten
“The crowning ending to the concert was the performance of Dvorak’s 4th piano trio by the Phaeton Trio. A standing ovation and shouts of ‘bravo’ were rewarded with an encore.“
— Walsroder Zeitung (Hamburg)
“Lively, with finely calibrated dynamics, and perfectly balanced… The thrilling piano trio evening ended with energy and much virtuosity.”
— General Anzeiger (Bonn)
“Highlight of the concert was the thrilling performance of the Dumky Trio by Dvorak... This fantastic achievement brought jubilant applause.“
— Wiesbadener Kurier
“…the playing by the Phaeton was everything one could hope for. The three gentlemen seized our imagination with the urgency of their opening phrases. The flow of music from the keyboard underscores lambent sounds from the violin and cello; everything melds into a rich blend, which has the emotional pull of Olde World style and grace. My companion and I were soon swept into that world by the Phaeton's inspired — and inspiring — playing.”
— Oberon (NYC)
“Spirited and virtuosic…”
— Schwäbische Post
“…based on technical perfection, they listen closely and can seamlessly communicate with each other.”
“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
“…one of the most exciting piano trios on the international concert scene.”
Rheinzeitung — Bad Kreuznach
“The audience applauded enthusiastically. The encouraging whistles and calls of “bravo” were rewarded by the brilliant Phaeton Piano Quartet with an encore from Antonin Dvorak’s “Dumky” piano trio No. 4. And the evening ended with a spirited plucked note from the violin that could be seen as a winked adieu to the Kreutznach music lovers.”
— Allgemeine Zeitung
“Uhlig’s pianistic brilliance, Eichhorn’s violinistic luminosity, and Hörr’s cellistic noblesse came ideally together again in Camille Saint-Saens’ second Piano Trio in E minor op 92. That this original, comprehensible, and elegant masterpiece is not offered more is even harder to understand after the performance by the Phaeton Piano Trio. From the passionate opening movement, to the following lyrical intermezzi in the three middle movements, to the finale gripping in its fugato verve, it is hard to think of a better advertisement for Camille Saint-Saens unknown chamber music.”
— Bergstraesser Anzeiger
“Watch out for Friedemann Eichhorn…”
“Peter Hörris a fantastic cellist.”
— The Guardian
“Florian Uhlig plays in a masterful fashion.”
— Süddeutsche Zeitung
Florian Uhlig, piano | Friedemann Eichhorn, violin
Peter Hörr, violoncello
Phaeton Piano Trio Availability
March 14 – 25, 2024
March 6 – 17, 2025
Nov. 6 – 19, 2025
Phaeton Piano Trio | Live at Library of Congress
Mendelssohn Piano Trio D Minor Op. 49
Phaeton Piano Trio | Live at Library of Congress
Preconcert Conversation with the artists
Phaeton Piano Trio at Pro Musica, Calgary, March 5, 2023
A. Dvorak "Dumky" Piano Trio & "Encore"
“Best of Phaeton Piano Trio 2019/2020”
Live recordings from SR, SWR, and BR German radio
Haydn C | Beethoven D
Mendelssohn d | Schostakowitsch 2nd
“Not by chance did the trio name itself after the son of the Greek Sun God Helios. Phaeton, the shining one, drove his father’s sun chariot harnessed with four fiery steeds across the sky during the day, returning at night to the sea. As demanding the name is, so fantastic is the ensemble.” — Ipf-und Jagd Zeitung
The Phaeton Piano Trio with Friedemann Eichhorn, violin, Peter Hörr, cello, and Florian Uhlig, piano — three German artists with an international career as chamber musicians and soloists — is based in Weimar, Germany. As soloists, the artists 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, they 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 their performances 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. Among the upcoming rescheduled concerts in Europe will also be appearances at the Konzerthaus Berlin and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
For the Beethoven anniversary, the trio offered a newly discovered trio fragment by Beethoven that will be published by the Henle Verlag, and to which the trio had the exclusive performance right to the end of 2020.
On its first tour to North America in February of 2020, the trio made its most successful U.S. debut at the Library of Congress, where Friedmann Eichhhorn was given the honor of playing the Kreisler Guarneri del Gesu that is in the Library’s collection. The trio also appeared to great acclaim at the Frick Collection in NYC, in Cleveland, and in San Jose. CA. Its Canadian debut in the summer of 2020 has been rescheduled for 2023. Further tours to North America are scheduled for March 2024 along with touring throughout Europe and Asia. The trio is planning to record a set of Schumann recordings in 2021/22.
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. Recent activities include a summer of 2021 performance of Fazil Say’s violin concerto with the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia di Roma at the Spoleto Festival, followed by a premiere performance of Say’s Violin Sonata No. 2 with the composer at the Istanbul Festival. Upcoming will be debuts with the Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin and the Hong Kong Philharmonic under Eschenbach. Friedemann’s recording of Say’s violin works with the composer, the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie and Christoph Eschenbach for the Naxos label has received numerous accolades.
Peter Hörr is a sought-after chamber music partner, notably as founding member of the Mozart Piano Quartet, an ensemble that performs worldwide and has a catalogue of recordings for the MDG 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. In 20/21, with the support of the Deutschlandfunk and the Klassik Stiftung Weimar. he released a recording of the complete works for cello and piano by Beethoven with pianist Liese Klahn. The BR Klassik noted “Peter Hoerr’s and Liese Klahn’s freshness and impulsiveness are great. It’s a joy to hear how much they follow Beethoven’s wish that instrumental music, too, should sing : each phrase breathes, speaks and has a goal”. In 2022 he will perform the Schubert symphonies and Haydn’s cello concerto in D with the orchester le phenix of Switzerland, both as soloist and conductor. Peter Hörr is Professor of cello at the Leipzig Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.”
Florian Uhlig, recently appointed honorary member of the London Royal Academy of Music, 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 more than 30 of his CD recordings, including the complete Schumann and Ravel piano solo works. Florian was awarded the 2021 Annual German Record Reviewers Prize, the 2022 Opus Klassik Award and the2023 City of Zwickau Schumann Prize for his set of 19 Schumann recordings. As Artist-in-Residence at the Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin during 21/22, he will perform numerous concerts, including the Liszt piano concerto No. 2. He also is Artistic Director of the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival and Professor of piano at the Musikhochschule Luebeck.
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
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