Founded in the sixties thanks to the initiative of Pablo Casals, the Istomin-Stern-Rose Trio (piano, violin and cello) is composed of soloists who have each conducted brilliant careers. During a quarter of a century, they have put their talent at the service of one of the finest repertoires, that of the trio which includes nuggets such as Brahms's Second and Third Trios.
All three Americans, Isaac Stern, Eugen Istomin and Leonard Rose, have left in the minds of those who have heard them perform unforgettable memories. Following the example of famous predecessors such as the Cortot-Thibaud-Casals or Rubinstein-Heifetz-Piatigorsky trios, they too have become legendary. Over the years, whenever they met again, even after a long absence, their complicity was such that they only needed a few measures for that small spark that united them to come alive. "We laughed a lot, recalls Istomin, we also bickered and even severely quarrelled two or three times, but the unity of our musical ideal never wavered."
The First Trio Op. 8 (which features in the first film dedicated to our three musketeers) was written by a young Brahms aged twenty-one, whereas the Second and Third Trios, which we hear recorded here in 1974 by French television, were composed thirty years later.
As soon as we hear Stern, Istomin and Rose in these absolute masterpieces, we are immediately struck by their ability to attain such a degree of intimate and natural communication. "One for all and all for one," the motto of the three musketeers applies to their playing, which solves the most complicated of all equations: how to be entirely oneself while blending into a single entity.
Orchestre de Chambre de l'ORTF, Alexandre Schneider
Berliner Philharmoniker, Waldbühne 2003 - A Gershwin Night