Liszt / Schumann / Schönberg album Press review


“With piano trio transcriptions of Liszt’s Tristia, Schoenberg’s Verklärter Nacht and Schumann’s Sechs Canonische Studien, Trio Karénine takes us into new worlds of sound. This begins with a gripping and thoughtful interpretation of Liszt’s Tristia.
Unadorned, sharp, on the upper edge of expressive playing, this is how Schoenberg’s sextet Verklärte Nacht sounds in this most exciting version for string trio by Eduard Steuermann. The Karénine musicians convey the music’s emotional characteristics with all their abruptness, tension build-up and release, with explosions of concentrated power and dramatic sequences which at the end merge into perfect calm and idyllic beauty. The music is thus emotionally exhausted without technical ifs and buts, extremes are realized in dynamics and sound volume.
With the same intensity the Trio Karénine plays Schumann’s 6 Canonical Etudes op. 56 in the transcription by Theodor Kirchner.”

Remy Franck, Pizzicato, March 2021


“The Trio Karénine, perhaps the world’s best piano trio at the moment, consistently continues the path they have already taken on recordings with Ravel, Fauré, Tailleferre, Dvořák, Shostakovich, Weinberg and Schumann with this album. In doing so, the bracket between the 19th century and the early 20th century is important to them programmatically. The trio practices a technically mature style, which always has something improvisationally spontaneous in its emotional condensation. One reason why the three fabulous musicians like these arrangements so much is probably that they are noticeably concerned with the quintessence of the musical statement, the atomic core of the composition. As is well known, with sufficient enrichment, this is also the basis of enormous (explosive) forces, which, translated into the interpretation, means a freshness that sprouts like a young plant and a sonically eruptive force of nature. To this is added a sensuously singing tone of the strings and the stupendous virtuosity of Paloma Kouider on the grand piano. In terms of chamber music, spring cannot be celebrated more fruitfully.”

Dr. Ingobert Waltenberger, OnlineMerker, March 2021



Chostakovitch / Weinberg / Dvorak album review


“Three young French musicians (…) have won prizes. With good reason. If one dares to name one development of the ensemble, it is probably an even greater stylistic certainty and an unwavering determination, idealisation and individualisation of expression. Incredibly virtuosic and technically sovereign are these three anyway.“

Das Orchester, May 2020


“This time it is a master stroke, as the interpreters surprise us by their capacity to admirably diversify the atmosphere : both sensitive and delicate in soothed parts, more lively then in contrast, they are always serving a very accurate and narrative rhetoric. 

Trio Karénine seduces us all the way by their intelligible playing and their colors, always enhanced by the sound recording – the whole thing within a well-balanced reading between darkness and clarity. A major record.”

Florent Coudeyrat,, April 2020


” The three french musicians achieve a captivating and sorough interpretation of these contrasting pieces, between desperate melancholy and débridée unbridled joy of life.”

Rhein-Main-Magazin, März 2020


20th January 2019, New York, Frick Collection review

“Through the almost feverish intensity of their playing, the three musicians stir up a powerful emotional resonance that becomes exultant.

the richness of their sound and the ardour with which they play made for a thrilling experience

My hope now is that the Karénine will soon be back in our City; their passion and artistry will always be welcome.”



15th January 2019, Williamsburg VA review

” Trio Karénine offers impressive chamber music performance. Piano-violin-cello ensemble demonstrated high-quality artistry in Williamsburg Library show. In Debussy, many moments of sweeping and varied emotions and an all together gentleness of feeling were creatively crafted among the three, allowing an ebb and flow of emotion.

(…) Suggestive of Schumann’s shifting emotional states, the finale is bright, energetic and positive, with bits of turbulence tossed into the mix. Ravel piano trio is also a work that provides its players many opportunities to display brilliant, virtuoso style skills. Moving from the flowing lyricism of the opening to the playful, string pizzicatos and gentle keyboard glissandos of the second to the sustained, almost funeral passacaglia in the third and the quasi-symphonic burst of sunshine in the finale, the Ravel was richly rewarding and probably showcased the trio’s best collective efforts. “

John Shulson for the VaGazette


14th January 2019, Norfolk VA, Chrysler Museum, review :

« Trio Karénine shares timeless Classical Chamber music at the Chrysler Museum (…) The group was stirring and fantastical (…)  A strong performance of chamber music that is easy to love and enjoy », Rebecca Evans


“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. “

Gramophone Mag, June 2016, Harriet Smith

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