Since their record debut in 1991 Grieg Trio have established themselves amongst the leading ensembles in the world, with a number of highly acclaimed releases. Now the trio presents a double SACD with the great romantic masterpieces by Tchaikovsky and Smetana – and finally – the Griegs’ own trio!
Grieg and Smetana
Edvard Grieg’s only essay in the genre was unknown and only posthumously published. Completed, according to the date on the manuscript, on 17 June 1878, the Andante con moto in C minor is a substantial piece apparently intended as the slow movement of a multi-movement piano trio, though in fact its contrasts of character and alternation of slow with faster tempi make it an effective single-movement work. It is certainly no sketch or draft but a fully-realized piece in every aspect, and of a quality comparable to Grieg’s other, better known, chamber compositions.
Bedřich Smetana asserted himself alongside with Antonín Dvořák as one of the most prominent Czech national composers, inspired by the Prague Revolution and growing patriotism. The piano trio from 1855 is Smetana’s first great chamber work – written in the memory of his daughter ‘Frizi’, who died of scarlet fever the same year. The work is spontaneous and rhapsodic in character, and this deeply personal music resembles the diary of a troubled soul.
THE romantic piano trio
Tchaikovsky’s trio Op. 50 holds a special position. The catalyst for this work was the death of the pianist and pedagogue Nicolai Rubinstein. Tchaikovsky stated that it was “a new form of music that I never have written before”. Op. 50 is a highlight in the romantic literature, both in the pure musical sense and because of the fact that the whole piece lasts for more than 46 minutes. Grieg Trio received the Critics’ Award in -93/94 for their performance of this epic piano trio.
Grieg Trio perform in the great music metropolises all over the world, including Chatelet, Concertgebouw, Schauspielhaus, Salle Verdi and Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. The 23th of February they play again in Wigmore Hall, London. Grieg Trio are the artistic directors of the International Chamber Music Festival in Stavanger.