28 April 2018
Grieg: Andante con moto
The manuscript for the Andante con moto for Piano trio was discovered posthumously by Grieg’s Dutch colleague Julius Röntgen. Röntgen was elated by the discovery and communicated his reaction to Grieg’s widow Nina: “It is a beautiful piece and completely in order. . . . What a solemnity it conveys! How he can’t get enough of that single theme, that even in the major mode retains its mourning character, and then develops so beautifully its full power . . . The piece can very well stand by itself and does not at all give the impression of being a fragment, as it constitutes a perfect entity in itself.”
Dvorak: Piano trio Op. 90 (Dumky)
Dvořák completed the trio on February 12, 1891. It premiered in Prague on April 11, 1891 with Dvořák himself on piano. The same evening, Prague's Charles University awarded the composer an honorary doctorate. The work was so well received that Dvořák performed it on his forty-concert farewell tour throughout Moravia and Bohemia, just before he left for the United States to head the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York City. The trio was published while Dvořák was in America and was proofread by his friend Johannes Brahms.
Schubert: Piano Trio in B flat D.898
Schubert began this Piano Trio in B flat in the middle of 1827 marking his return to that particular ensemble after an interval of almost exactly 15 years. The sole earlier work for piano trio, also in B flat major but in just a single movement (D. 28), is a student work when he was the 15-year old pupil of Antonio Salieri. In marked contrast, the B flat major Piano Trio of 1827, shows Schubert nearing the very end of both career and life, fully aware of his powers. It is the first of two magnificent works in the genre with which Schubert filled the void in piano trio composition that had existed since Beethoven's "Archduke" Trio of 1811.