The more I hear of Hummel, the more baffled I am at his neglect. These Piano Trios are absolutely wonderful: youthful, joyous, energetic and completely delightful. They all remind me very much of Beethoven's 1st Piano Trio in Eb. They seem to lie between late Mozart and early Beethoven in style, yet I dare say I enjoy these more than Mozart's or Beethoven's. They're just so fresh, with an endless sense of discovery.
I have listened to two sensational sets lately. First, is the pair of discs on Naxos, released separately in 2014 and 2015. The Gould Piano Trio play these trios with exhilarating gusto and finesse. Add to that the superlative Naxos recording quality and you have a most enjoyable disc. I originally passed up this recording in favor of the complete set by Trio Parnassus on MDG (see below). That set is superlative as well, including state of the art digital recording. But make no mistake, the Gould Piano Trio are their equal in every way, as is Naxos's recording. These are bright, sunny, singing, graceful, fresh, invigorating and positively joyous performances of unjustly neglected repertoire. For those unfamiliar with Hummel's Trios, I find they combine the freshness and joyful discovery of Mozart with the deeper innovation of Haydn and early Beethoven. It is most rewarding and thoroughly enjoyable music. I recommend both discs with the highest enthusiasm.
There is not much to add regarding the 2-disc set played by Trio Parnassus. Their set exhibits fantastic ensemble, superb playing and musicianship, and is superbly recorded by MDG. I cannot recommend either set highly enough.