Serge Rachmaninoff

Serge Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

Nationality: Russian
Born: April 1, 1873, Oneg Died: March 28, 1943, Beverly Hills, CA (age 69)

Trio élégiaque for Piano Trio No. 2 in d minor, Op. 9

(for violin, cello and piano)
18:54 I. Moderato - Allegro moderato
20:15 II. Quasi variazione
7:46 III. Allegro risoluto
Duration: 42 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1893, 5 October-15 December, revised 1907 and 1917 (age 20-20)
Premiere: January 31, 1894. Yuly Konyus (violin), Anatoly Brandukov (cello), Sergei Rachmaninoff (piano)
Revised: 1917 (age 43-44)
Dedication: To the memory of a great artist [Pyotr Tchaikovsky]
1 recordings, 3 videos
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St. Petersburg Academy Trio
I. Moderato - Allegro moderato
St. Petersburg Academy Trio
II. Quasi variazione
St. Petersburg Academy Trio
III. Allegro risoluto
From Edition Silvertrust

Sergei RachmaninovRachmaninov's Piano Trio No.2 which also has the subtitle Élégiaque was composed in 1893 and written as a memorial for Tchaikovsky who was a close friend and mentor. Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) is well-known both for having been a famous piano virtuoso and for having composed several important piano concertos as well as other works for orchestra. Few, however, know that he wrote chamber music.

Although both of his piano trios are early works, they show a mastery of technique and an uncanny similarity to his later compositions. It is a huge work, written on a much larger scale than his first trio and as one might expect full of passion and genuine deep feeling. The work is in three movements. From the opening notes of the massive Moderato, one is aware of a deep sadness which is accentuated by the repeated funereal accompaniment of the strings in the piano. The music, though highly passionate, moves as a very deliberate, almost plodding pace. The second movement, Andante, quasi variazione, is also written on a grand scale. The piano alone announces the theme which is followed by eight substantial variations. The finale, Allegro risoluto, the piano states the very Tchaikovskian theme during a long opening solo. It is rough and punctuated by violent outbursts of emotion. The sense of pathos and passion is further heightened when the strings join in.

Here is a highly dramatic and powerful work which cannot fail to leave a deep impression upon any audience which hears it.

© Edition Silvertrust. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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