- Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 2
For more than 60 years I have loved Schumann’s music. And the reason is that I am able to find expressive emotion in it. While Robert Schumann was a troubled person who died at age 42, some of his music does contain upbeat, positive melodies.
Grief impacted the year 1847 for Robert Schumann: His friend Fanny Mendelssohn died of a stroke in May; the following month his fourth child Emil died at just 16 months, and Mendelssohn himself died in November.
On this CD, we get to hear the following:
- Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 63
- Piano Trio No. 2 in F major, Op. 80
Performed by the Rhodes Piano Trio
Rhodes performer Michael Gurevich writes: “We have always loved this music for its overwhelming sincerity and serious nature, and are to this day puzzled as to why the trios by Schumann’s colleagues, Brahms and Mendelssohn, are so much more often performed than his. Schumann’s trios are in no way less attractive than their contemporaries, arguably more skillfully written, and much more extraordinary in their scope.”
Schumann’s grief permeates the first piano trio with its desperate and yearning melancholy, despite its masterful use of contrasts and an optimistic ending. With its symphonic sweep and brilliant counterpoint, this is one of Schumann’s great inspirations, leading Clara, his wife, to comment: ‘The first movement is one of the most beautiful that I know’, when they first performed it on her birthday in September.
Schumann began working on the second trio before he had completed the first, and in her diary Clara noted: ‘I love it passionately and keep on wanting to play it!’. In the key of F major, it certainly makes a dramatic contrast to the first, lit with high spirits and a breezy spaciousness. Schumann himself commented that ‘it makes a friendlier and more immediate impression.’
The Rhodes Piano Trio won 2nd Prize at the 2011 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. The Trio has performed widely at venues and festivals across the UK and abroad, giving recitals at Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall, Edinburgh Fringe, Melbourne Recital Centre, the Aldeburgh, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Cordes sur Ciel, Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern and Schwetzinger Festivals.
Here is the The Clara Trio — Schumann Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 63:
And next, here is the Schumann piano Trio no. 2, opus 80 – 2nd movement, Mit innigem ausdruck (with deepest expression):
Tags: Robert Schumann, piano trios, Rhodes Piano Trio