Shostakovich Piano Trios (Live)
Lana Trotovsek / Stjepan Hauser / Yoko Misumi
D.Shostakovich: Piano Trio No.1, Op.8 [13:55]
D. Shostakovich: Piano Trio No.2, Op.67
I. Andante [08:13]
II. Allegro con brio [03:20]
III. Largo [06:22]
IV. Allegretto [13:05]
W.A. Mozart: Allegretto from Piano Trio in G major, KV 564
L.van Beethoven: Adagio from Piano Trio No.5, Op.11
Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Trio No.2 was recorded live during the performance at the 55th Ljubljana International Festival in August 2008. Piano Trio No.1 was recorded live in 2007 at the concert in St Martin in the Fields, London. In both performances the young musicians from the Greenwich trio were all in their early 20's and only 2 years since their formation. This is their first CD, originally self-released.
Piano Trio No.1 by Shostakovich was created as a student work in 1923 when the composer was only sixteen and had been in the Saint Petersburg Conservatoire for three years. Life wasn't easy in post- revolution Russia due to heat and shortages, especially for the Shostakovich family due to the death of Dmitri's father, also called Dmitri, in the previous year, and he was becoming ill, not that his health was ever good. Its last 16 bars were completed later by Shostakovich's pupil, Boris Tishchenko. The work was originally entitled Poème. All of the work's themes are derived from the opening chromatically longing motive. The music recalls a Romanticism that the composer would soon repudiate. The trio is in a single movement containing a variety of tempos and musical characters. He dedicated it to Tatyana Glivenko.
The Piano Trio No 2 Op 67 was finished in the spring of 1944, and grew out of both national and personal tragedy. After several years of brutal war Russia was in a state of exhaustion. The siege of Leningrad, in which over a million people had died, had come to an end in January. The German army was in retreat from Russia, and revelations of the horrors of the death camps and the fate of Jews were beginning to surface. It was just at this time that Shostakovich lost his closest friend, Ivan Sollertinsky, a fine writer on music, a brilliant linguist and witty public speaker. Shostakovich had first met him in 1927, and Sollertinsky had given a talk introducing a performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No 8 only five days before his death from a heart attack in February 1944. Shostakovich wrote to Sollertinsky's widow: ‘I cannot express in words all the grief I felt when I received the news of the death of Ivan Ivanovich. He was my closest friend. I owe all my education to him. It will be unbelievably hard for me to live without him.’ Shostakovich, who had been working on his second Piano Trio since December, decided to dedicate it to Sollertinsky, following in a tradition of elegiac Russian piano trios—Tchaikovsky had written his in memory of Nikolai Rubinstein, Rachmaninov had followed with a trio in memory of Tchaikovsky. But the music itself makes it clear that Shostakovich intended a memorial far beyond the individual human being who was his friend.