Recorded on 10/17/2006, uploaded on 01/27/2009
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
With a view toward gaining
some notoriety in the musical world even before he graduated from the Moscow
Conservatory in the spring of 1892, Rachmaninoff took part in a series of
public performances in January, the most important of which was his own recital
on January 30. He enlisted the participation of violinist David Krein and
cellist Anatoly Brandukov for the event, and supplemented his own solo
performances of works by Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Godard and Tausig by
composing a Prelude for cello and piano and a Trio Elegiaque in g minor for all three instruments.
The Trio, as befits its author and its purpose, assigns the leading
role to the piano. The work's single expansive sonata-form movement opens with
murmuring string figures ("lugubrious" instructs the score) that serve as
background for the piano's melancholy main theme. After the strings are allowed
their turns at the theme, the music becomes more active as it leads to the subsidiary
subject, whose block chords and harmonic progressions give it a slightly
ecclesiastical feeling. The development section ("Appassionato") relies mainly on the first theme for its material. A
busy climax and a brief silence serve as the gateway to the full recapitulation
of the exposition's themes. The principal theme is recalled one final time in
the coda, which is marked to be played in the manner of a funeral march. Aglika Angelova
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
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