Trio 258: The Return - Sergei Rachmaninov: Trio élégiaque No. 2, Op. 9, Prelude in B Minor Op. 32, No. 10

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Klasyczna Muzyka Kameralna
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kontynent: Europa
kraj: Rosja
opakowanie: Jewelcaseowe etui

Editor's info:
- Challenge Classics celebrates the Rachmaninov anniversary (150 years from his birth) with two noteworthy releases.
- The first one is a stunning debut recording by a young piano trio with strong, original and much thought-out ideas.
- Their account of Rachmaninov gigantic Second Piano Trio takes the listener back to the ‘period’ playing of the composer’s contemporaries.
- Not only – and not just – gut strings, but: more liberty and agility in tempo, rhythm and phrasing, in the quest for the ‘human voice’, which was the romantic basic principle of interpretation.
- This philological venture is anything but a cold ‘case study’. Just listen and get seduced by the warmth and passion of the music and its performance.

Sergei Rachmaninov’s music is loved by many, being heard regularly on concert stages throughout the world. That said, his Second Piano Trio is virtually unknown, as it is seldom taken on by musicians. His trio is passionate – the weight and sincerity of his deep feelings form the basis of the work. He dedicated the work to his good friend and mentor Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who had died that year. The sadness, melancholy and love imbuing this work are genuine and timeless, touching our hearts as audience or performers.
All three of us grew up, quite independently of each other and for a number of reasons, with recordings by the great masters from the first half of the 20th century: Rachmaninov of course, but also Vladimir Horowitz, Jascha Heifetz, Pablo Casals, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Yehudi Menuhin and Gregor Piatigorsky to mention just a few. This goes in part to explain why we made friends with each other and became professional colleagues. We were smitten by the "old" way of performing and all of us wanted to learn from that style.
Our journey has helped us – through recordings, literature, conversations and lessons from some special musicians – to an appreciation of how music was read and interpreted so entirely differently a hundred years ago to what we normally hear nowadays. The ultimate model for a "living" sound at that time was the human voice. To match this, we had to adopt a much more flexible approach to aspects such as tempo, rhythm and voicing, emulating how this was done in the Romantic era. Some listeners might not even notice where this happens, though some of these interpretative choices might strike others as odd or a little extreme. Our quest for a sound that approximated the human voice led us to the use of gut strings, again inspired by our idols from the first half of last century. Gut strings have a wide range of tonal colours and offer great opportunities for articulation, inviting musicians to adopt an investigative approach.

The return - Sergei Rachmaninov once said to his close friend, the pianist Benno Moiseiwitsch: "You understand my Prelude in B minor. If you had to sum up the work in a single word, what would it be?", to which Moiseiwitsch replied "But my dear Sergei, I cannot describe it in one word. The piece is a journey! It's about a return…". "Stop!", shouted Rachmaninov. "Exactly that – 'Return' – that's what my prelude is about".
Return is an important theme for us on this CD. Not just because Rachmaninov's Second Trio starts with a beautiful, melancholy theme that returns in all its majesty after more than 50 minutes of the most stirring music, but also because this recording and the music represent for us our own return to the world after two years of musical isolation during the pandemic period. The timing is symbolic: 2023 sees the 150th anniversary of Rachmaninov's birth. And it is partly thanks to this master composer that we have been able to remain motivated over the past two years, exploring and discovering, for which we owe him a huge debt of thanks. This is one of the reasons why we had the Prelude in B minor arranged for piano trio, as a fitting close to our CD.

Trio 258:
Leonard Besseling - Cello
Lestari Scholtes - Piano
Eduardo Paredes Crespo - Violin

1. Sergei Rachmaninov: Trio élégiaque No. 2, Op. 9 (revised edition 1907) I. Moderato 2:01
2. Sergei Rachmaninov: Trio élégiaque No. 2, Op. 9 (revised edition 1907) II. Quasi variazione 2:22
3. Sergei Rachmaninov: Trio élégiaque No. 2, Op. 9 (revised edition 1907) III. Allegro risoluto 8:31
4. Sergei Rachmaninov: Prelude in B Minor Op. 32, No. 10 ‘The return’ arr. for piano trio by Th. Beijer (1988) 5:20

wydano: 2022-12-05
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Challenge Classics
Sergei Rachmaninov
Trio 258
The Return - Sergei Rachmaninov: Trio élégiaque No. 2, Op. 9, Prelude in B Minor Op. 32, No. 10
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