Tchaikovsky’s trio in London.
by on May 23, 2019 in

As always, it is a pleasure to play chamber music. At this special occasion Ilya Kondratiev invited me to perform Tchaikovsky trio A-minor together with cellist Tatiana Chernyshova.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Trio in A minor, Op. 50, was written in Rome between December 1881 and late January 1882. It is subtitled « À la mémoire d’un grand artiste » – In memory of a great artist, in reference to Nikolai Rubinstein, his close friend and mentor, who had died on 23 March 1881. It is scored for piano, violin, and cello.

In 1880, Nadezhda von Meck, had asked for such a piece, but he refused, saying in his letter to her of 5 November 1880:
“You ask why I have never written a trio. Forgive me, dear friend; I would do anything to give you pleasure, but this is beyond me … I simply cannot endure the combination of piano with violin or cello. To my mind the timbre of these instruments will not blend … it is torture for me to have to listen to a string trio or a sonata of any kind for piano and strings. To my mind, the piano can be effective in only three situations: alone, in context with the orchestra, or as accompaniment, i.e., the background of a picture.”

I think we are all so lucky that finally composer decided to try this combination of instruments. It is a very beautiful and intense music, it requires huge craftsmanship from all performers.