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Tchaikovsky & Babajanian - Piano Trios

Composer Arno Babajanian
Alfred Schnittke
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
Performer Vadim Gluzman
Johannes Moser
Yevgeny Sudbin
Period Romantic
Catalogue Number BIS-2372 SACD
EAN 7318599923727
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Oct 2019
Total time 73'21

Tchaikovsky at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains

In Russian chamber music, a rather special tradition evolved around the piano trio, with a number of composers turning to the genre to write ‘instrumental requiems’. First out was Tchaikovsky with his Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50, ‘à la mémoire d’un grand artiste’, and he was followed by composers such as&&& Rachmaninov, Arensky and Shostakovich. In the case of Tchaikovsky’s trio, the ‘grand artiste’ was the pianist Nikolai Rubinstein, and Tchaikovsky chose the trio genre as he felt that a piece for solo piano would be too lightweight and one with orchestral accompaniment would be too showy. The work is in two movements, a Pezzo elegiaco (‘elegiac piece’) and a set of variations, and it begins with the cello playing a moving lament which sets the tone for the entire first movement. The theme returns at the end of the second movement in the form of an impassioned funeral march.

Seventy years later, when the Armenian composer and pianist Arno Babajanian (1921—83) wrote his Piano Trio in F sharp minor, he didn’t give it any subtitle, but there’s a grandeur and breadth of scale which rivals Tchaikovsky’s work – and the second movement is thoroughly elegiac in character. The trio is Babajanian’s best-known work, composed in the Romantic style of Rachmaninov, but also rooted in Armenian folk music, melodically as well as rhythmically. Performing the two works are Vadim Gluzman and Yevgeny Sudbin, both with Russian roots, joined by cellist Johannes Moser, and the three close the disc with Sudbin’s arrangement of a brief Tango by Alfred Schnittke.
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  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovksy
  Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50 48'00
01 I. Pezzo elegiaco 17'47
02 II. A. Tema con variazioni: Tema. Andante con moto 1'02
03 Variation I 0'55
04 Variation II. Più mosso 0'35
05 Variation III. Allegro moderato 0'58
06 Variation IV. L’istesso tempo 1'14
07 Variation V. L’istesso tempo 0'44
08 Variation VI. Tempo di valse 2'27
09 Variation VII. Allegro moderato 1'20
10 Variation VIII. Fuga. Allegro moderato 2'30
11 Variation IX. Andante flebile, ma non tanto 3'11
12 Variation X. Tempo di Mazurka. Con brio 1'51
13 Variation XI. Moderato 2'15
14 B. Variazione Finale e Coda 11'11
  Arno Babajanian
  Piano Trio (1952) 21'19
15 I. Largo - Allegro espressivo 8'37
16 II. Andante 6'54
17 III. Allegro vivace 5'48
  Alfred Schnittke
18 Tango from the opera Life with an Idiot (arr. Yevgeny Sudbin) 2'21
  Album total 73'21
ComposerBabajanian, Arno
Schnittke, Alfred
Tchaikovksy, Peter Ilyich
ViolinGluzman, Vadim
CelloMoser, Johannes
PianoSudbin, Yevgeny
ArrangerSudbin, Yevgeny

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