2021 NativeDSD Album of the Year – Chamber Music
La Muse is a long-awaited album from the Prisma String Trio. The album features a new recording of Florent Schmitt’s extraordinary Trio a Cordes (1944). It is just the third time the work has been commercially recorded — and the first one in more than three decades.
Pure DSD 256 Release!
For this release, NativeDSD Mastering Engineer Tom Caulfield has teamed with Cobra’s Producer and Recording Engineer Tom Peeters to take the album’s original Stereo, 5 Channel Surround Sound and Binaural DSD 256 recording session takes and then mixed and balanced them in the DSD domain using the Signalyst HQ Player Pro 4 mastering tools.
Each DSD bit rate is individually mixed, balanced, and remodulated to the DSD delivery quality in a separate individual pass. Bringing NativeDSD listeners an exclusive bonus – this wonderful album in Stereo, 5 Channel Surround Sound and Binaural Pure DSD! Other editions of this album available elsewhere (CD, Downloads on other websites and Streaming Audio) were all mixed in DXD.
Two Different Works
This album features two completely different works by French composers both written in 1944: Trio à Cordes Op.105 by Florent Schmitt and Suite La Muse Ménagère’ by Darius Milhaud. One is turbulent and magnificent, the other intimate and poetic. The two composers could not be more different and might be said to clash. And yet, Prisma String Trio feel their works are a beautiful match and complement each other well. Was it inspiration, call it the Muse, which brought the two together? Florent Schmitt’s muse is Music itself, leading him on in an explosion of compositional creativity. Darius Milhaud names his wife Madeleine as his muse and pours his gratitude into a musical tribute.
Overwhelming, there is no other word for the Trio à Cordes by Florent Schmitt. A string trio with such unique lyricism and such rich harmonies is not often heard, it is overflowing with expression and romance. Beyond impressionism. There is no modern recording of the Trio à Cordes; only 2 LPs were made in 1947 and 1985. The Prisma String Trio dares to take on the challenge of honoring this notoriously tricky work with a modern recording.
The Milhauds are an artistic family. We know Darius as the figurehead of the famed Groupe des Six and Madeleine is a celebrated actress and librettist. Milhaud’s health is frail for most of his life and he ends up in a wheelchair. He was lovingly cared for throughout his life by his wife Madeleine. Out of gratitude he wrote 15 miniatures for her: La Muse Ménagère. The arrangements of these 15 miniatures have been specially arranged for Prisma String Trio by their loved ones, their own muses: Bob Gilmore, Petra Griffioen, Tim Kliphuis en Marijn van Prooijen.
Prisma String Trio
Janneke Van Prooijen – Violin
Elisabeth Smalt – Viola
Michiel Weidner – Cello
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:55:50
Acoustic Revive microphone cables and interlinks
Mixed, Balanced & Mastered in the DSD Domain using the album’s original DSD 256 Stereo and DSD 256 Multichannel takes with Signalyst HQ Player 4 Pro Mastering Software by Tom Caulfield at the NativeDSD Mastering Lab in Marshfield, MA
Brüel & Kjaer 4003, Neumann modified by Rens Heijnis
|Original Recording Rate
|Original Recording Format
Westvest90 in Schiedam, the Netherlands on July 14, 15, 16 & November 9, 2020
|April 8, 2021
The crazy thing about String Trios is that they tend to sound fuller with one player less than String Quartets. That sensation is extended here.
On the album La Muse (‘The Muse’) the Prisma String Trio performs à cordes opus 105 by Florent Schmitt (1870-1958), written in 1944, that even sounds almost like a String Sextet. Voluminous and very intense, beautifully recorded in Westvest90 in Schiedam. A new highlight from the steadily growing catalogue of Cobra Records.
The Prisma String Trio, dating from 2002 and consisting of Janneke van Prooijen, violin, Elisabeth Smalt, viola, and Michiel Weidner, cello, is breaking new ground here. Apart from the level of execution, the programming is certainly also a hit.
In addition to Schmitt’s trio, the ensemble also presents a special arrangement of the piano cycle La Muse ménagière (‘The household muse’) by Darius Milhaud (1892-1974). The result is fresh and impressive.
The Prisma String Trio plays in such a way that the music really grabs the listener. They also display the slow movement expressively with dark colors, while the Rondo takes on an almost burlesque character.
La Muse Ménagère remains so pure and poetic in the string trio version that they touch the listener no less than in the original.
Sit down because this is a recording that encourages you to listen.
The Prisma String Trio of French composer Florent Schmitt – unknown to me until now, who doesn’t? -, and consisting of four parts, demands your attention completely from the beginning, partly due to the recording technique used.
Dear Music Emotion reader, don’t let this beautiful album from Cobra pass you by, Listen to this high-carat cut musical diamond by Producer and Recording Engineer Tom Peeters.
This album is presented with the best possible interpretation by the Prisma String Trio. The trio was Founded in 2002 with Janneke van Prooijen violin, Elisabeth Smalt viola and Michiel Weidner cello. It is an exquisite company that does not shy away from progressively composed programs on the concert stage.
The ensemble was recorded with the caring hands of Tom Peeters. He shows in the Schiedam Westvest Church (a now very well-known recording location) how a String Trio really should sound.
This recording is a blessing because of the quality of the Dutch musicians of the Prisma String Trio. But also because of its rarity. The work has not been recorded since the prior version by Trio Pasquier.
This beautiful album La Muse (The Muse) opens with Trio á Cordes by Florent Schmitt. A thorough composition with an enormous string width where there is a lot to get for the attentive listener, who will enjoy more and more with every listen. The Prisma String Trio plays this piece with such organic ease that you almost forget how ingeniously difficult this composition is.
La Muse Ménagère is an intimate work by Darius Milhaud. These compositions, originally written for piano, are endearingly and transparently arranged for String Trio by 4 different musicians. Each part has its own story, an independent musical poetic poem that is excellently performed by the Prisma String Trio.
The Prisma String Trio, founded in 2002, throws itself with verve into Schmitt’s trio cosmos. It designs Milhaud’s treasures with fine esprit and subtle humor.
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