The Trio Of Laureates
Salle Claude -Léveillée
Redirection to Place des Arts
Brahms had a lifelong affinity for the piano trio, writing his first as a young man in 1853. The Second Piano Trio, composed in 1883, perfectly showcases his high maturity. Past master of chamber music, Brahms uses the trio medium to create gorgeous integrated textures as well as clever dialogue, both rife with his compositional signatures. Creative variation pervades this piece—Brahms joked that the variations of the second movement should earn him an extra fee, since audiences had “come to expect them from him.” Violin and cello playing in parallel octaves, a typically Brahmsian nod to folk music, is another recurring feature: all four movements begin this way.
The opening Allegro cycles through an abundance of musical ideas, with an emphasis on the bold, triadic opening motive in various transformations; this motive, played in octaves by all three instruments, closes the movement. The passionate theme of the A minor Andante shares the style of Brahms’ many Romani-inspired works, and the ensuing variations contain everything from melancholy call-and-response to fiery, fully voiced chords. The skittish, urgent Scherzo has an evocative fairy-tale feeling, while the broad, singing Trio sounds unabashedly romantic. The final Allegro giocoso again unfolds with conspicuous variation of the main theme, and an extensive coda gives the Trio a powerful and harmonically bold conclusion.
© Ariadne Lih
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