I've never met anyone who has heard Brahms' Horn Trio and not loved it. In many ways it is a quirky piece: the first movement follows a rather archaic scheme associated with baroque church music, and the seldom-revisited combination of instruments is fraught with problems. But Brahms managed to get everything just right, balancing the mixture of fluid melancholy and bucolic delight with exquisite skill. A good performance leaves one with the kind of all-encompassing satisfaction more readily associated with a long, excellent lunch.

The nicely judged performance provided by this mouthwatering lineup of Angela Hewitt, Isabelle Faust and Stephen Stirling was appetising enough, but my satisfaction was undermined by the music-making that preceded it. The combination of Faust and Hewitt suggested something really special would emerge from Schumann's first and Brahms' third violin sonatas, but in both cases the result was, if not underwhelming, some way short of whelming.

This was at least understandable in the Schumann, a late work that looks forward to Fauré and Franck and backward to Haydn and Mozart, but which demands exceptional lightness of touch. But for the much less evasive Brahms piece, one would have expected Hewitt and Faust to be in their element. But in both cases, an over-studied approach led to a diffusion of energy and a confusing shapelessness of line. There were great moments in the Brahms, but they remained isolated.

Stirling's arrival for Schumann's Adagio and Allegro for horn and piano brightened the mood, but he, too, didn't really get himself fully together until the Brahms. This, all told, received a magnificent outing, wonderful partnerships emerging between the players as Brahms's lilting melodies wafted in and out of Hewitt's gleaming Fazioli.

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