Best of Russian Piano Trios | Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, Glinka, Arensky, Taneyev

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Composers: Anton Stepanovich Arensky, Alexander Borodin, Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev
Artist: The Moscow Trio, Vladimir Ivanov (violin), Mikhail Utkin (cello), Alexander Bonduriansky (piano)

This 3-disc collection showcases Russian piano trios from the mid-nineteenth to early-twentieth centuries. Piano trios were unheard of for Russian composers until Mikhail Glinka wrote one in 1832; it earned the epithet ‘Pathétique’ as it seemed to be a reflection of Glinka’s general sadness at the time of writing, the piece alternating between caustic tension and attempts at light-hearted optimism. A mournful, melancholic influence then became characteristic of the Russian piano trio: Tchaikovsky unknowingly created a tradition when he composed his offering in 1882 – one of his greatest chamber works and which he dedicated to his recently deceased and much-missed friend Nikolay Rubinstein. On several subsequent occasions, piano trios were written as memorials.

The collection also includes the mathematically-governed trio of Sergey Taneyev, who had gained a reputation as a cerebral composer, and the trio of Rimsky-Korsakov, whose mastery of opera and vocal writing can be seen in the final movement as each instrument takes on its own ‘voice’ and emotion – thus resembling an interaction between characters. Alexander Borodin used the Classical model for his trio, although it contains surprising chromaticism as well as dramatic changes of temperament, including the tragic hymn in the second movement. Anton Arensky’s take on the genre completes the collection.

The Moscow Piano Trio was formed in 1976 and has achieved huge success in international competitions, notably winning the Maurice Ravel Gold Medal at the Bordeaux ‘Mai Musical’. The trio is comprised of pianist Alexander Bonduriansky, violinist Vladimir Ivanov and cellist Mikhail Utkin.

00:00:00 Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50: I. Pezzo elegiaco
00:22:40 Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50: IIa. Tema con variazione: Andante con moto
00:43:05 Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50: IIb. Variazione finale e coda
00:55:52 Trio pathétique in D Minor: I. Allegro moderato
01:01:08 Trio pathétique in D Minor: II. Scherzo: Vivacissimo
01:04:40 Trio pathétique in D Minor: III. Largo
01:09:42 Trio pathétique in D Minor: IV. Allegro con spirito
01:11:53 Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 32: I. Allegro moderato
01:25:18 Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 32: II. Scherzo: Allegro molto
01:31:27 Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 32: III. Élégie: Adagio
01:38:14 Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 32: IV. Finale: Allegro non troppo
01:44:53 Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 22: I. Allegro
01:57:07 Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 22: II. Allegro molto
02:09:29 Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 22: III. Andante espressivo
02:16:06 Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 22: IV. Finale
02:27:23 Piano Trio in C Minor: I. Allegro assai
02:42:48 Piano Trio in C Minor: II. Allegro
02:47:30 Piano Trio in C Minor: III. Adagio
02:56:54 Piano Trio in C Minor: IV. Allegro assai
03:12:25 Piano Trio in D Major (Unfinished): I. Allegro con brio
03:18:44 Piano Trio in D Major (Unfinished): II. Romance: Andante
03:26:29 Piano Trio in D Major (Unfinished): III. Intermezzo: Tempo di minuetto

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