Shostakovich & Schnittke – Piano Trios
Freddy Kempf (piano), Pierre Bensaid (violin) & Alexander Chaushian (cello)
- Piano Pin Trio No. 1 in C minor, Op. 8
Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67
Schnittke: Piano Trio
Dmitri Shostakovich composed his first piano trio quite early in his life, as indicated by the early Opus number. Years later, in the midst of the Second World War, he completed his second piano trio which was born out of the appalling sufferings of his fellow-countrymen and reflected the loss of his closest friend, the writer Ivan Sollertinsky, who died unexpectedly in the middle of Shostakovich’s work on the trio.
Schnittke’s only piano trio was written to mark the centenary of Alban Berg in 1985. Soon after completing the trio, Schnittke suffered the first of a series of massive strokes, but in 1992 he revisited the work, dedicating the piano trio to his doctor, Alexander Potapov.
On a previous CD, the Kempf Trio has released two other Russian piano trios – those of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov – in performances described as ‘fiery, cogent, intelligent and wholly compelling’ – Evening Standard, and ‘a triumph’ – The Strad. In the present, no less impassioned and passionate programm, we hear the swan-song of this fine ensemble, which was recently disbanded.
“Good recordings of Shostakovich’s brilliant, tragic Second Piano Trio are already abundant… but this new… version… is one of the best. The bleak, vertiginously – spaced textures of the opening – cello and violin soaring high above the piano’s bass line – and the hectic, defiant energy of the Scherzo have seldom been better caught…” …………………………………BBC Music Magazine, March 2010
Here is a video of the Greenwich Trio performing the Shostakovich Piano Trio no.2, the 3rd movement
Tags: Shostakovich, Schnittke, Piano Trio