Eduard Nápravník

Eduard Nápravník (1839-1916)

Nationality: Czech | Russian
Born: August 24, 1839, Býšť Died: November 23, 1916, St. Petersburg (age 77)

Piano Trio No. 1 in g minor, Op. 24

(for violin, cello and piano)
I. Allegro con fuoco
II. Allegretto grazioso, quasi Andantino
III. Scherzo. Presto
IV. Alla Russe. Vivace
Composed: 1876 (age 36-37)
Published: 1877 (age 37-38)
From Edition Silvertrust

Eduard NápravníkEduard Napravnik's Piano Trio No.1 in g minor dates from 1876 and won first prize in the Imperial Russian Music Society Competition for that year. It is dedicated to the Tsar's brother, the Grand Duke Constantin Nikolaievich who subsequently ennobled the composer. The main theme to the big opening movement, Allegro con fuoco, is passionate and full of foward drive while a second subject is more lyrical. The second movement, Allegretto grazioso, quasi andantino, is a slinky Russian slow dance. A pounding Scherzo with contrasting trio serves as the third movement. The finale, Alla Russe, vivace, no doubt caught the attention of both the Music Society and the Grand Duke. The opening theme is a rhythmic, stomping affair, full of nervous energy, but it is the tender slower section that follows which is full of Russian pathos.

Eduard Nápravník (1839-1916) was born in Bohemian town of Beischt (now Býšť), in what was then the Habsburg Empire. He learned to play the organ at his local church and then entered the Prague Organ School after which he obtained an appointment to serve as conductor of the famous private orchestra of Prince Yusupov in St. Petersburg. Thereafter he served as conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre and later several Imperial Theaters. He became an influential figure in Russian musical life and was even mentioned in Dostoyevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov as a famous conductor. He premiered several of Tchaikovsky’s works and assisted the composer in tightening up certain scores. He wrote in most genres but today is remembered for his most successful opera, Dubrovsky. He did not neglect chamber music writing three string quartets, a string quintet, two piano trios, a piano quartet and several instrumental works.

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