Chopin & Elsner: Fortepiano Trios

Album cover art for upc 881488160697
Catalog: PH16069

Margaux Trio

Frederic Chopin’s Piano Trio op. 8 is one of his fully fledged masterpieces, even though the composer completed it at the young age of 19. Chopin wrote it between 1828-1829, during his studies at The Royal University of Warsaw under the aegis of his instructor for composition, Joseph Elsner. As the musicologist Maciej Galub remarked, Chopin felt he had to face three challenges as debuting composer: Appropriating the great form, then contending with the “brilliant” style of the piano compositions by his contemporaries Hummel, Weber or Ries, and finally establishing a national Polish musical idiom, for instance by using folk dances. In his piano trio, Chopin overcame these three challenges masterfully. The Piano Trio in B-flat major by Joseph Elsner, which is included on this release, was published in Vienna under the title “Grande Sonate pour le Clavecin ou Forte-piano avec Accompagnement d’un Violon et Violoncelle oblige.” Formally it corresponds to the model with three movements for the piano trios from Haydn and Mozart. The first movement is an energetic sonata allegro. This is followed by a melodic imaginative larghetto. The finale consists of a bright rondo, whose theme has folk-like features.

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