Catalog: AVI 8553401
In Juon’s piano trio we plunge into the most profound recesses of the soul. Everything acquires existential significance. This is where our performers find a bridge that connects Juon’s kaleidoscopic tone poem with Pjotr Tchaikovsky’s colossal Piano Trio, op. 50, a musical epitaph for pianist and conductor Nikolai Rubinstein, who had been Tchaikovsky’s friend and mentor. Rubenstein had ensured that the young Tchaikovsky was allowed to enter the newly founded Moscow Conservatory while taking him up as a resident in his own home. “He looked after my every need like a child’s nurse,” Tchaikovsky wrote. Rubinstein not only made sure that Tchaikovsky wore appropriately elegant clothing, but he took him to the opera and to concerts while introducing him to his circle of colleagues and friends, playing out his connections to draw their attention to his protégé’s compositions. His unexpected passing in 1881 must have profoundly shattered the young Tchaikovsky, who dedicated the only piano trio he ever wrote to his late friend, adding the subtitle ‘A la memoire d’un grand artiste.’ The work consists of two monumental, thematically related movements. Beginning with a heartfelt cello cantilena, the first one is an extensive elegy or Pezzo elegiac: an immense variety of musical ideas flow together in this sonata form with exposition, development, and reprise. The second movement consists in a seemingly endless set of variations. Today, the work is regarded as one of the milestones in the genre of chamber music with piano.