The Trio Karénine were joint winners of the 2013 ARD Competition in Munich. They formed as recently as 2009 and the choice of Schumann for their first disc is a bold one. There’s an effervescence and lightness that underpins their approach (not for nothing are they named after Tolstoy’s heroine Anna Karenina, « for the life force she represents »).
The Second Trio suits them particularly well; They capture the upward-surging opening of the first movement and the thrilling élan of its close. Yet they don’t underplay the contrasting elements either, for instance, the confiding theme introduced by the piano at 0’50’’ (tr 5). (…) The lolling intermezzo-like third movement, with its canonic conversation between strings and piano, is also very effective while the finale is a particularly elated affair, the Karénine palpably delighting in Schumann’s flow of melodic invention;
The turbulent First Trio is also full of good things. (…) the new group convey the energy of the finale with great immediacy, combining a sens of freshness with deep-seated understanding of Schumann’s world. A most impressive debut.