Classical Music | Music for Trio

Sergei Rachmaninov

Trio No. 1 for Piano, Violin and Cello in g minor, “Trio Elegiaque”  Play

Jupiter Trio Trio

Recorded on 10/17/2006, uploaded on 01/27/2009

Musician's or Publisher's Notes

Trio No. 1 in g minor, "Trio Elegiaque"                 Sergei Rachmaninoff

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