Tchaikovsky & Juon - Piano Trios | C-AVI AVI8553401

Tchaikovsky & Juon - Piano Trios


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Label: C-AVI

Cat No: AVI8553401

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 5th October 2018



The Boulanger Trio is recognised as one of the leading piano trios in Europe. On their new album, the Trio tackle Tchaikovsky’s Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano in A minor, op.50 and Paul Juon’s Litanie, Tone Poem for Piano, Violin and Cello, op.70.

”In Juon’s piano trio”, as the members of the Boulanger Trio find, “we plunge into the most profound recesses of the soul. Everything acquires existential significance. This work truly captivates us: so much occurs within such brief moments”. This is where our performers find a bridge that connects Juon’s kaleidoscopic tone poem with Tchaikovsky’s colossal Piano Trio, op.50, a musical epitaph for pianist and conductor Nikolai Rubinstein, who had been Tchaikovsky’s friend and mentor. Rubinstein’s unexpected passing in 1881, when he was only 45, had a profound effect on the young Tchaikovsky, who dedicated the only piano trio he ever wrote to his late friend, adding the subtitle À la mémoire d’un grand artiste.

Tchaikovsky’s work consists of only two monumental, thematically related movements. Beginning with a heartfelt cello cantilena, the first one is an extensive elegy or Pezzo elegiaco: an immense variety of musical ideas flow together in this sonata form with exposition, development, and reprise. The second movement consists in a seemingly endless set of variations. According to his friend Nikolai Kashkin, Tchaikovsky wanted to “paint a musical portrait of Rubinstein in different phases of his life”.

Whether that be true or not, this is indeed a musical broadsheet of illustrated character variations. Particular mention can be made of the third variation, a brilliant piano caprice, the fifth, where the piano imitates bell chimes, the sixth in form of a waltz, and the elaborate fugue in the eighth. The twelfth variation-cum-finale sets in powerfully and energetically but harks back to the first movement by concluding with a poignant funeral march.

Boulanger Trio:
- Karla Haltenwanger (piano)
- Birgit Erz (viola)
- Ilona Kindt (cello)

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