Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)

Nationality: Russian | Soviet
Born: September 25, 1906, St. Petersburg Died: August 9, 1975, Moscow (age 68)

Piano Trio No. 2 in e minor, Op. 67

(for violin, cello and piano)
7:45 I. Andante - Moderato - Poco più mosso
3:01 II. Allegro con brio
5:29 III. Largo
10:44 IV. Allegretto - Adagio
Duration: 27 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1944 (age 37-38)
Premiere: November 14, 1944. Leningrad
Dedication: Ivan Sollertinsky
7 recordings, 27 videos
autoopen autoplay
7:37
Moscow Rachmaninov Trio
I. Andante - Moderato - Poco più mosso
3:09
Moscow Rachmaninov Trio
II. Allegro con brio
4:49
Moscow Rachmaninov Trio
III. Largo
11:37
Moscow Rachmaninov Trio
IV. Allegretto - Adagio
6:46
David Oistrakh, et. al.
I. Andante - Moderato - Poco più mosso
2:40
David Oistrakh, et. al.
II. Allegro con brio
4:34
David Oistrakh, et. al.
III. Largo
9:11
David Oistrakh, et. al.
IV. Allegretto - Adagio
8:41
Vienna Piano Trio
I. Andante - Moderato - Poco più mosso
3:18
Vienna Piano Trio
II. Allegro con brio
4:39
Vienna Piano Trio
III. Largo
11:21
Vienna Piano Trio
IV. Allegretto - Adagio
7:09
Shostakovich, et. al.
(part 1 of 3)
7:02
Shostakovich, et. al.
(part 2 of 3)
9:33
Shostakovich, et. al.
(part 3 of 3)
8:08
Rosamunde Trio
I. Andante - Moderato - Poco più mosso
2:59
Rosamunde Trio
II. Allegro con brio
5:15
Rosamunde Trio
III. Largo
10:46
Rosamunde Trio
IV. Allegretto - Adagio
7:59
Madoyev, Westenholz, Dinitzen
I. Andante - Moderato - Poco più mosso
3:02
Madoyev, Westenholz, Dinitzen
II. Allegro con brio
6:06
Madoyev, Westenholz, Dinitzen
III. Largo
10:00
Madoyev, Westenholz, Dinitzen
IV. Allegretto - Adagio
7:55
Beaux Arts Trio
I. Andante - Moderato - Poco più mosso
2:53
Beaux Arts Trio
II. Allegro con brio
5:52
Beaux Arts Trio
III. Largo
10:35
Beaux Arts Trio
IV. Allegretto - Adagio
From Kai Christiansen

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)

Piano Trio No. 2 in e minor, Op. 67, 1944

Despite his prodigious cycle of 15 string quartets, Shostakovich wrote sparingly for other chamber music ensembles: a cello sonata, violin sonata, piano quintet and two piano trios. His first piano trio was a single movement composition from 1923 written when Shostakovich was only 17. A student work, it is far out shadowed by the mature second piano trio, a substantial four-movement work offering the full range of Shostakovich's artistry and emotional intensity particularly as expressed so intimately in his "private" chamber music. In a kind of tradition following Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, Shostakovich created an elegiac trio in memory of his close friend Ivan Sollertinsky, a brilliant musicologist and critic who died suddenly of a heart attack while still a relatively young man. Written in the summer of 1944 in the midst of WWII, the trio, like many of Shostakovich's works, seems to comment more broadly on the tenor of the times suggesting an elegy for the tragic victims of war in general.

The trio begins very quietly in eerie high harmonics as a solo cello introduces a meditative subject in its highest range that grows, when joined by violin and piano into a weighty fugue, a prominent feature of other Shostakovich chamber works including the eighth quartet and the piano quintet. As in all three works, the fugue is deeply tinged with melancholy. Portions of the fugue subject transform into new thematic materials across of the movement of generally escalating motion and dynamics.

The brisk and spiky scherzo is unmistakably Shostakovich. It constantly teeters on the edge between lively and frantic, between rolling scales and harsh, repetitive rhythmic motifs like a jovial folk dance where escalating mirth swerves dizzily towards obsessive mania. The virtuosity seems to boil and effervesce into pizzicato bubbles as a brilliant string duo trades figure and ground with the piano.

The slow, third movement is a deeply-felt lament, a passionate funeral dirge that grows out of an initial stark chord progression from the piano laid like a grave stone to serve as a ground base in a chaconne form. The finale breaks the grief with a compelling musical narrative featuring a march, piquant folk dancing and a poignant, weeping recall of fugal subject from the first movement as the music becomes a literal manifestation of elegiac recall, a rushing memory of what has past and gone. Composer and critic Arthur Cohn notes in his typically terse but sharply perceptive style that here Shostakovich pictures "the horrible forced dance of Jews before they were machine-gunned to death." Whether the loss of a close friend or of a whole nation in the midst of a world war, the tragedy had a deep impact on Shostakovich: prefigured in the first movement, the sharply etched finale theme resurfaces yet again in the monumental personal testimony of the eighth quartet.

© Kai Christiansen Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Related Composers

Maximilian Steinberg (1883-1946)
Teacher
Nationality: Russian | Soviet
Born: July 4, 1883, Vilnius Died: December 6, 1946, Leningrad (age 63)
Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936)
Teacher
Nationality: Russian | Soviet
Born: August 10, 1865, St. Petersburg Died: March 21, 1936, Paris (age 70)
Nikolay Sokolov (1859-1922)
Teacher
Nationality: Russian
Born: March 26, 1859, St. Petersburg Died: March 27, 1922, Petrograd (age 63)
German Galynin (1922-1966)
Student
Nationality: Russian | Soviet
Born: March 30, 1922, Tula Died: July 18, 1966, Moscow (age 44)
Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996)
colleague
Nationality: Soviet | Polish
Born: December 8, 1919, Warsaw Died: February 26, 1996, Moscow (age 76)
Orest Yevlakhov (1912-1973)
Student
Nationality: Russian | Soviet
Born: January 17, 1912, Warsaw Died: December 15, 1973, Leningrad (age 61)
Elmira Nazirova (1928-2005)
Student
Nationality: Azerbaijani | Soviet | Israeli
Born: November 30, 1928, Baku Died: 2005, Haifa , Israel (age 75)
Galina Ustvolskaya (1919-2006)
Student
Nationality: Russian | Soviet
Born: June 17, 1919, Petrograd Died: December 22, 2006, St. Petersburg (age 87)