This brilliant Piano Trio ensemble will return to Greenacre on Saturday 12 October to perform three of the most sublime works in this genre, and which they’ll be performing at Conway Hall shortly after that:
Beethoven – Piano Trio in D Major, Op.70 No.1, [“Ghost”]
Beethoven’s middle period chamber works include his two Opus 70 Piano Trios. The first, in D major, known as the “Ghost”, is one of his best known works in the genre (rivalled only by the “Archduke”, which we heard at last the previous concert). Beethoven’s pupil, Carl Czerny, wrote in 1842 that the strangely scored and eerie-sounding slow movement of the D Major brought to mind the ghost scene at the opening of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and this was probably the origin of its nickname, with which it has been stuck ever since.
Shostakovich – Piano Trio No.2 in E minor, Op.67
The astonishing work received its premiere in Leningrad on 14 November 1944. The daunting opening theme is composed for solo cello, played entirely on upper-register harmonics, leaving many listeners in a state of unbelieving bewilderment. The whole movement requires incredible technical prowess from the three instrumentalists.
This is followed by (i) a frenzied, unsettled dance; (ii) a sombre largo featuring dark exchanges in the strings against a background of repeated piano chords; and (iii) a “dance of death” followed by echoes of the earlier movements and the Jewish melody quoted by Shostakovich in his 8th String Quartet. The work ends with a barely audible chord in the major key.
Brahms – Piano Trio No.1 in B Major, Op.8
This great lyrical work was composed by Brahms in 1854, but completely revised 36 years later in 1890, losing one-third of its original length. Such is the contrast between the two versions that the revised trio should really be thought of as a different work. In composing the 1890 version Brahms excised several of the original passages, and added much new thematic material. It is the 1890 version that is invariably performed, and which we shall be listening to tonight. It is Brahms’ only work that today has two extant published versions, and one of the very few to begin in a major key and end in the tonic minor. You will be spellbound from first to last!
For full booking instructions, including suggested donations, please have a look at our concerts page. To be sure of a place and avoid the waiting list, please book early.
We look forward to welcoming you on 12th October and thank you, as ever, for your kind support.