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Piano, page 46

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Rachmaninov & Tchaikovsky Piano Trios - Gould Piano Trio

Rachmaninov & Tchaikovsky Piano Trios - Gould Piano Trio
ID: CHRCD012
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Subcollection: Piano

Tchaikovsky wrote comparatively little chamber music, yet his Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50, with its kaleidoscopic succession of moods, is probably the first important piano trio by a Russian composer; and it proved very influential. Up to his forties Tchaikovsky had felt an antipathy to the piano trio-combination, and had refused to write one for his patroness, Nadezhda von Meck (whose resident piano trio included, as pianist, a French teenager called Claude Debussy). The occasion that caused Tchaikovsky to change his attitude was the death in March 1881 of the pianist and pedagogue Nikolai Rubinstein, founder of the Moscow Conservatoire, who had not only been a friend but one of Tchaikovsky's sternest critics and most faithful supporters. Deeply affected by losing this significant figure in his life, for a while Tchaikovsky seemed quite unable to compose. He planned a new opera, but then found himself composing the Piano Trio as a tribute to Rubinstein's memory - the dedication actually reads ‘in memory of a great artist'. Tchaikovsky told Countess von Meck that he selected the genre as a means of ‘testing himself', perhaps in order to assure himself that he was still fulfilling Rubinstein's exacting standards. The Trio was composed in Rome during the winter of 1881-2; Tchaikovsky wrote to his brother Anatoli that he was ‘completely engrossed in my new trio, and attracted by this new form of music which I have not tried before and is quite new to me'. After he had finished it he wrote again that ‘it pleases me greatly. Later, maybe, I shall renounce it, and hate it as much as I hate most of my works. At the moment, however, I am proud of it, it satisfies me, and raises me in my own esteem. Lately I felt sure I should not be able to compose any more and life without creative work is pretty pointless.'
Certainly the Trio is a big, ambitious piece in which the composer sets himself a multitude of challenges in what was for him a new medium. After a private performance in April 1882 Tchaikovsky made some revisions before the public premiere, which took place at the Moscow Conservatoire on 18 October with Taneyev playing the taxing piano part. The work was not well received by the press, but did not take long to make its way into the repertoire, where it stands to this day as one of the supreme examples of the piano trio in the Romantic era. Tchaikovsky later sanctioned substantial cuts in its formidable length. The expansive and passionate first movement brims with melodic ideas; it begins with a lyrical tune entrusted to the cello which produces many offshoots in the course of a lengthy exposition. Contrasting with this is a heroic, even martial theme distinguished by massive chordal writing in the piano - indeed the piano part throughout this Trio often resembles the solo part in a concerto. The development section includes a substantial dialogue between cello and piano, and in the coda the opening theme turns elegiac, with a tender duet for violin and cello before the movement finds its calm, sad close. The slow movement is a Theme and Variations, a form of which Tchaikovsky was already an established master. This E major movement is perhaps the most personal and unusual in inspiration of all his variation-sets. He associated the poised and almost classical theme - first stated by the piano - with Rubinstein himself, and the ensuing eleven variations chronicle incidents in Rubinstein's life and memories of times he and Tchaikovsky spent together. As the composer wrote to his halfbrother Modest, ‘one variation is a memory of a trip to an Amusement Park out of town, another of a ball to which we both went and so on'. The Amusement Park is probably to be heard in the quicksilver scherzo of the third variation, the ball in the sixth variation's sumptuous waltz - which also refers to Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin. But it is better not to look for particular ‘programmatic' connotations in the others. The brief fifth variation, with its high piano writing, is clearly a brilliant evocation of a musical box, according to some commentators - but a ‘troika' or
sleigh-ride, according to others. The eighth is a robust fugue, followed by a lamenting ninth variation marked flebile (mourning, plaintive) with Aeolian-harp figuration in the piano, and a tenth in lively mazurka rhythm. The eleventh variation closes the movement with an enriched restatement of the original theme. Though the second movement is over, the variation process is not. Tchaikovsky's third movement opens with what is, in effect, the twelfth variation in the sequence - a splendidly exciting and vivacious one, large and bold enough to initiate a full-scale finale in A major. It enacts a more or less complete sonata design before its triumphal elation is interrupted by the return of the soulful lyric theme that began the ‘Pezzo elegiaco' first movement, in drastically afflicted unison on the strings against a turbulently emotional piano part. This sudden outpouring of grief issues in a doom-laden coda marked lugubre, where the opening theme is heard for the last time against a Chopinesque funeral-march rhythm in the piano, ebbing away into silence. Tchaikovsky's Trio, with its function as a memorial for Nikolai Rubinstein, seems to have initiated a Russian tradition of ‘elegiac' piano trios - Arensky, for instance, wrote a trio inspired by the death of his (and Tchaikovsky's) friend, the cellist Davidoff. The young Sergei Rachmaninov actually entitled both his early piano trios, composed in quick succession in 1892 and 1893, Trio élégiaque; and the second of those was written under the shock of hearing of the sudden death of Tchaikovsky, who had encouraged him while Rachmaninov was still a student. That three-movement Trio in D minor is by far the better known of the two. Its predecessor, the Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor, was written at white-hot speed between 18 and 21 January 1892 and premiered in a recital that the 18-year-old Rachmaninov gave at Moscow Conservatory, where he was still a student, on 30 January. Rachmaninov naturally took the piano part, with his friends the violinist
David Krein and the cellist Anatoly Brandukov (for whom he would later compose a celebrated Cello Sonata.) As far as is known this was its first and last hearing in Rachmaninov's lifetime, and the work was not published until 1947. The fact that it was so speedily written, for performance by the composer himself, probably accounts for the large number of errors in the manuscript and almost complete lack of dynamics in the manuscript, which had to be heavily edited before it was printed. If the later D minor Trio is an elegy for Tchaikovsky, there is no evidence to suggest who might be the subject of the G minor. Its ‘elegiac' nature quite possibly arose from Rachmaninov's own current emotional state. The previous August he had caught a fever as a result of swimming in the chilly waters of the River Matir; his health had deteriorated throughout the Autumn and, though he gradually recovered, he had spent much of the winter in a state of depression. This would seem an adequate explanation for the mood of the Trio, which despite a fine show of activity in its central section seems to end in darkness and despair. The work is in a single movement in a broad sonata-form, with room for some contrasting episodes. Not surprisingly, Rachmaninov assigns pride of place to the piano, making the Trio almost a miniature piano concerto (it was in fact composed shortly after his Piano Concerto No. 1). It opens (with the characteristic expressionmark Lento lugubre) with murmuring, wind-blown string figures that create an evocative background to the dolorous - and already highly charcteristic - main theme, enunciated by the piano. After the strings have had a chance with this melody the music moves to a more active contrasting subject in story-telling style. The development section, marked Apassionato, is principally based on the opening theme and, after a climax and a silence, leads to a full-scale recapitulation of the opening materials. The work concludes with an impressively gloomy coda in the style of a funeral march.
Notes (c) 2010, Malcolm MacDonald
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Elena Gladilina, Natalia Yurygina - Piano Duo

Elena Gladilina, Natalia Yurygina - Piano Duo
ID: SMCCD0100
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Piano

Andrey Martynov, Sergey Shamov, percussion (2-4)
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Mikhail Voskresensky, piano - W. A. Mozart Vol. 9

Mikhail Voskresensky, piano - W. A. Mozart Vol. 9
ID: CR142
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Chamber Music
Subcollection: Piano

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Frederic Chopin - Marcella Crudeli, piano

Frederic Chopin - Marcella Crudeli, piano
ID: KNSA012
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Piano

Recorded at Vatican Radio Studios on October 10th-11th-13th, 2005
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P.I.Tchaikovsky - The Seasons, Dumka - Maria Asseeva, piano

P.I.Tchaikovsky - The Seasons, Dumka - Maria Asseeva, piano
ID: KNSA007
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Piano

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Wolfgand Amadeus Mozart - Boris Kraljević, piano

Wolfgand Amadeus Mozart - Boris Kraljević, piano
ID: KNSA015
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Piano

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Ayo Bankole - Piano Works - Maria Asseeva, piano

Ayo Bankole - Piano Works - Maria Asseeva, piano
ID: KNSA013
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Piano

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Prize winners of the Scriabin Piano Competition in Moscow, 2004

Prize winners of the Scriabin Piano Competition in Moscow, 2004
ID: CR044
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Subcollection: Piano

1 - 3 Yumi Sato, piano
4 - 7 Maria Dubrovkina, piano
8 - 13 Alexander Kulikov, piano
14 - Galina Chistiakova, piano
15 - 17 Stanislav Hegay, piano
18 - 20 Andrei Korobeinikov, piano
Moscow Symphony orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ziva


The Third International Scriabin piano competition was held on 20 - 30 of June, 2004 in Moscow, the city where Alexander Scriabin was born in 1972 on Christmas Day and where he died in 1915 on Easter. The competition was held in the Great Hall and Maly Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, where Alexander Scriabin studied in the class of Vassili Safonov and where he worked afterwards. The Honorary Chairman of the Organizing Committee was the composer Tikhon Khrennikov, People's Artist of the USSR. The Organizing Committee was headed by the Minister of Culture and Mass Communications Alexander Sokolov. The members of the jury were Mikhail Voskressensky (President, Russia), Dmitri Bashkirov (Russia), Arnulf von Arnim (Germany), Pascal Devoyon and Marian Rybicki (France), Einar Steen-Nokleberg (Norway), Vitali Margulis (USA), Andrea Bonatta (Italy), Balazs Sokolay (Hungary). Executive secretary was Alexander S. Scriabin (Russia). All prizes were granted by gold-mining company POLUS.
1st prize Andrei Korobeinikov Russia Born on July 10, 1986. À 3rd year student at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in the class of A.Diev.
2nd prize Stanislav HEGAY Kazakhstan Born on July 7, 1985. À 2nd year student of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in the class of professor L. Naumov.
3rd prize Galina Chistriakova Russia Born on April 27, 1987. À 2nd year student of the Central Music School under Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in the class of A. Ryabov. 4th prize Alexander KULIKOV Born on November 29, 1983. Student of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in the class of professor A. Nasedkin.
5th prize Yumi SATO Japan Born on August 5, 1979. Graduated from Tokyo National University of arts and Music in the class of professor Kharukhi Khata.
6th prize Maria Dubrovkina Russia Born on December 6, 1980. 5th year student of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in the class of professor Yu. Slesarev.
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Muzio Clementi - W.A. Mozart:Sinfonie KV. 550, 551

Muzio Clementi - W.A. Mozart:Sinfonie KV. 550, 551
ID: CNT2063
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Subcollection: Piano

13.00 eur Temporarily out of stock

BRAHMS PIANO TRIOS - VOLUME ONE - Gould Piano Trio

BRAHMS PIANO TRIOS - VOLUME ONE - Gould Piano Trio
ID: QTZ2011
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Piano

The first volume in the Gould Piano Trio's series of the complete Piano Trios by Johannes Brahms.
The Gould Trio is one of the most acclaimed young chamber ensembles to emerge from the UK in recent years and have toured many of the great international concert halls and festivals.

Brahms Piano Trios - Volume One

Of all the great composers, Brahms is probably the one we know least about. A passionately private man, he left few clues to the workings of his musical mind - unlike, say, Beethoven, there are no sketch books showing how his musical ideas evolved, just the final finished products. Anything that did not meet his exacting standards was destroyed; here is a composer who destroyed more string quartets and symphonies than he left behind. There is just a single exception, and that is the B major Piano Trio, written in 1853-4, at the height of his worship of Schumann when Brahms was twenty-one, and then revised in 1889, just before he started to withdraw into a semi-retirement from composing. By the time of the later version, the old version had a wide currency and was a popular piece. The revised version is undoubtedly finer, combining that youthful fire with the experience that the intervening years had brought him, and it is this version that is recorded here.
The opening retains its noble, sweeping idea from the original, a long singing melody, full of potential and implications, the unusual choice of key adding a warm glow. This immediately announces the scale of the piece as something equal to, say, Schubert?s final piano sonatas. After working this material to a focal point, Brahms then writes a contrasting idea. In the first version of the piece, the continuity breaks down, with a rather four-square idea, but in the revised version the continuity is such that the new theme - still retaining its own identity - grows naturally and seamlessly out of the first idea. The next section, after the themes have been stated is very different between the two versions, the first including an amazing if rather strenuous fugal passage, while the second has a density that Brahms found in old age. The piano figuration here is also far removed from the virtuoso of his youth, with clarity of texture of paramount importance. The restatement of all the material after this has a complete sense of maturity in the final version, a fusion of the two ideas and at the end, a sense of stasis, of recollection and of summing up. Listeners who know the late collections of piano pieces will recognise the fingerprints of the composer at his best here.

In all, Brahms pruned the first movement from 494 bars to 290, all in the interests of concision. The Scherzo has no such changes: mere details are changed along the way and a new coda is added, more successful and effective in preparing a slowing down of pace before the slow movement than the original, with its Mendelssohnian pizzicato version of the main theme. Listening to his Op 4 Scherzo for piano, we can sense how the youthful Brahms found such music more straight-forward than in old age, although in the overall context of this work, the Scherzo does not sound out of place. In later life, Brahms generally preferred to compose intermezzo type movements instead of scherzos - for example, only the last of the four symphonies has a Scherzo, and that of a more "symphonic" definition. The slow movement is again quite different in the two versions, the opening chorale-like idea is allowed to expand in a way that Brahms restricts in the later version and the faster section, which provided contrast, is replaced by a passionate, rather sad theme, first given to the cello. Brahms once told his pupil Jenner that a long Adagio was "the most difficult" to sustain, hence, maybe, his original solution. The mood of the revised is much more restrained and where, in the original, the audience had to be content with a brief reminiscence of the opening theme, Brahms provides a fuller restatement, with musing improvisatory figures for the piano when the strings give out their answering phrase. A harmonic shift provides tension in this closing section and, though resolved quickly, the after-effects can be felt at the start of the last movement, the only serious attempt to dislodge the key of B - major or minor - in the whole of the work. The shadowy figures eventually give way to a carefree contrasting idea, which was an addition in the revision. Clara Schumann had not been uncritical of the first version but the theme that this replaced was special to her. In Schumann's music there is an element of quotation which appealed to the young Brahms, and the theme originally at this point was a direct quotation from Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte. The symbolic significance of this quotation would not have been lost on Clara, at a time when her husband was desperately ill and it was the only part of the revision she disliked, telling Brahms that the new idea was "repellent." The restatement is varied, but structurally similar to the opening of the movement and the coda, based on the first theme, dispels any lingering doubts. Again a swathe of material was removed in this movement: almost two hundred bars are cut.

Brahms said of his new version of the piece, "I did not provide it with a wig, but merely combed and arranged its hair a little." The opportunity had come to revise the Trio as a result of a new publisher taking over his works and offering a reprint of any revisions of slight weaknesses in the early works. He must have been surprised by the extent of Brahms? touching up of this Trio and yet the miracle is how the old thematic material sits side by side with a new leaner structure, without a hint of inconsistency. Still Brahms could not make up his mind, when he finally got around to sending the publisher his revised Trio. "I must state that the old one is bad, but do not maintain that they new one is good!" That the new version speaks so directly to audiences, with none of the complexity of the older work is what has secured its place in the repertory.

The C major Trio was finished in 1882, twenty-eight years after the B major though the opening Allegro was composed in 1880. Both Summers were spent in Ischl, a spot which seems to have opened the floodgates of inspiration for Brahms (the last three movements were written in the space of a single month). The most withdrawn of his Symphonies, the Third, dates from just after this time, and its reflective mood is predicted here in this Trio. The piano's had developed enormously during the middle of the nineteenth century and in chamber works where it is partnered by strings, its power had sometimes proved quite a tour de force for the strings; Brahms on the other hand provides a most effective balance between the strings and piano with the sort of writing which was to distinguish itself again the Double Concerto (here pitted against the orchestra) written at the end of the same decade.

The rich flow and invention of the opening movement is the equal of the finest of the Classical period. one of its especial beauties is the heart of the movement where the opening theme takes on a lyrical guise, which returns in the lively coda. The slow movement is a set of five variations on a wistful folk-like melody. An important motif source is the syncopation which runs throughout the theme, deliberately holding back the inherent liquidity until the final variation.

The Scherzo is a threatening affair, with diminished sevenths running though the harmonic fabric of the movement, a harsh contrast to the open diatonicism of the central section. The Finale is, like the first movement, in a tightly constructed sonata form. Brahms is in assertive mood and his pride in the works is fully evident in every small detail.

Copyright: Mike George

Gould Piano Trio:

The Gould Piano Trio have established a reputation as one of the most stylish and versatile ensembles performing today. Highly regarded in the field of chamber music, they enjoy a career that takes them to major venues in the UK and overseas. Chosen as British Rising Stars for the 1998-9 season, the Trio has performed in such prestigious venues as New York's Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Brussels Palais des Beaux-Arts, Birmingham Symphony Hall and major halls in Paris, Cologne, Athens and Vienna.
Festival appearances have included Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Bath, Spoleto and the BBC Proms, whilst overseas travels have taken them to New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan, South America and most European countries. They regularly tour to the USA, performing in the Lincoln Center, Weil Hall and at the Frick Collection. In the UK they appear at the Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Purcell Room, LSO St. Luke's, Queen's Hall Edinburgh, and they will be giving one of the first chamber concerts at The Sage, Gateshead as part of an Arts Council-sponsored "Around the Country" national tour. Both the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic have invited the Trio to perform James MacMillan's chamber works at their forthcoming festivals. Frequent broadcasts from these venues have made the Goulds a familiar ensemble to listeners of BBC Radio 3. The Trio have recorded CDs of trios by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Smetana and Bax, as well as a cover disc for the BBC Music Magazine. This CD, the first in a series for Quartz, will be followed by a further volume of Brahms Trios, the premiere recordings of the trios of Robert Fuchs and the Tchaikovsky Trio. In 1999 the Trio started its own annual chamber music festival in Corbridge.

The Gould Piano Trio have been the recipients of many national and international awards; First Prize at the Charles Hennen Competition in Holland was followed by joint First Prize in the inaugural Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in Australia. At the 1993 Premio Vittorio Gui Competition in Florence they were awarded the audience prize in addition to the overall First Prize. In the UK the Trio have won awards from the Tillett and John Tunnell Trusts. As part of their commitment to extending the piano trio repertoire, the Goulds have commissioned works and performed many contemporary pieces. They enjoy coaching young ensembles and giving workshops in schools.
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