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Complete Works for Piano Trio

Altenberg Trio Wien

Complete Works for Piano Trio

Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917205329
Catnr: CC 72053
Release date: 01 January 1997
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2 CD
Notify when available
 
Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917205329
Catalogue number
CC 72053
Release date
01 January 1997
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
NL

About the album

On this album you can listen to the complete works for piano trio by Robert Schumann.

Schumann composed four trios for violin, cello and piano: in D minor, Op. 63; in F major, Op. 80 (both from 1847); and in G minor, Op. 110 (1851) and the unnumbered Phantasiestücke (1842). The first of these, in D minor, is generally regarded as the strongest work of the three. An experimental approach to harmony in the F major Trio is usually given as a weakness when the piece measured against its Classical-era models, while the G minor Trio shows some signs of the decay that accompanied the composer's encroaching mental illness. The intimate chamber music genres allowed Schumann to indulge his preference for intricate figurations and subtle harmonic inflections that are such a salient feature of his solo piano pieces. Not surprisingly, the piano chamber works are clearly piano driven, with the strings either following the keyboard part or acting in opposition to it as a unified block.

Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63

For Schumann, the year 1847 was relatively "dry" in terms of composition. He revised the final scene of his Scenes from Goethe's Faust, which he had written three years earlier. In April, he sketched the overture to his opera, Genoveva, which he set aside until the next year. During the rest of 1847, he composed a few songs, the brief choral work, Beim Abschied zu singen, and two Piano Trios, No. 1 in D minor, Op. 63, and No. 2 in F major, Op. 80.
The sonata-form first movement of the Piano Trio in D minor is in 4/4 meter and marked, "Mit Energie und Leidenschaft" (With energy and passion). Throughout the expansive first theme, the pianist plays rapid arpeggios outlining the harmony. During the secondary theme, however, the piano traces the melody with the strings before the closing section, which consists of a return to the first theme, now on F major and rhythmically diminished. Schumann's most ingenious stroke in the movement is the new theme in the development section.
Constrained energy marks the second movement, "Lebhaft, doch nicht zu rasch" (Lively, but not too fast) a Scherzo and Trio in F major. Its 3/4 meter is always clear in the piano part, supporting the rising, dotted melody in the strings. The rising melody appears again in the Trio, although here it is much slower and more relaxed, and rounds off with a descent.
Marked "Langsam, mit inniger Empfindungen" (Slowly, with inner feeling), the third movement is a ternary structure (ABA) with a wandering harmonic structure. Beginning on C major, the violin melody moves toward a new harmony after eight measures. After passing through C minor, a new section begins, firmly in F major, and the piano becomes clearly subservient to the violin and cello, providing repeated chords and creating a 12/8 meter. In the return of the A section, Schumann follows the opening for only seven measures; in the eighth the melody changes and the harmony heads toward A major. The movement ends with a powerful French sixth chord (in D minor) moving to an A major triad, the dominant of D major, which is the key of the Finale. The shape of the first theme of the movement is very much like that of the violin theme opening the first movement.
The Finale, marked "Mit Feuer" (With fire), begins without a break after the slow movement. Schumann links the finale to the first movement through thematic reference. The first four violin notes of the first movement appear, rhythmically altered, in the piano melody of the second and third measures of the Finale.

Trio No. 2 in F Major, Op. 80

Marked "Sehr lebhaft" (Very lively), the first movement of the F major Piano Trio is in an ebullient 6/8 meter and cast in sonata form. The hesitant first theme is the almost entirely the property of the violin and cello, which play in parallel throughout. The unusual harmonic adventures that characterize the movement include an emphasis on D major, which becomes the dominant of G major, the harmony of the second theme group. What is unusual is that, in the key of F major, G major functions as the dominant of C major in the works of Schumann's predecessors, not as a key area of its own. The melodic role of the piano increases in the second group, which gives way to an expansive closing theme in the violin over a light accompaniment in the piano. An imitative, contrapuntal episode at the beginning of the development section provides contrast to the homophonic music played thus far, although much of the development is concerned with the lyrical closing theme, which also ends the movement.
Contrapuntal layering occurs at the beginning of the second movement, "Mit innigem Ausdruck" (With intimate expression). Dotted rhythms in the string melody contrast with the constant triplets in the piano part, the left hand of which provides yet another layer of melody. Although it begins in D flat major, the movement quickly shifts to A major for a rapid violin line. A central, "Lively" section introduces new, detached material before the highly modified return to the opening.
A scherzo with canonic tendencies, the third movement, "In mässiger Bewegung" (In a moderate movement), is in 3/8 meter and begins in B flat minor. In contrast to Schumann's first Piano Trio, Op. 63, the triple-meter movement is in third position. The brief canons appear between the violin and cello at the beginnings of the movement and the contrasting scherzo theme. In the sparse Trio, the imitative passages are between the piano and cello, just before a transformation of the main scherzo theme. A coda brings the movement to a quiet, hesitant close.
Marked "Nicht zu rasch" (Not too fast), the Finale returns to F major. The dense piano part dominates the movement as each appearance of the opening idea is further transformed.

Trio No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 110

The G minor trio here, like the other three, is cast in four movements, the first of which is the longest and most rewarding. Marked Bewegt, doch nicht zu rasch (Agitated, but not too fast), it opens with a dark, restless theme of Romantic temperament played first by the violin, but quickly taken up by the cello. The music is full of passion and mystery here, Schumann achieving a profound expressive depth. A sweeter second theme is presented and the exposition is then repeated. After a stormy and imaginative development, the themes are reprised and the movement quietly concludes. The second movement, marked Ziemlich langsam (Rather slowly), features a lovely, passionate theme played by the strings and a turbulent middle section that leaves the impression its violent music is an intrusion on the serene beauty of the outer sections. The ensuing panel (Rasch -- Rapid), at about four minutes, is the shortest of the four movements. Its anxious, descending main theme alternates with a sweetly lyrical melody, then later with its chipper variant, both perfect foils for their dark sibling. The finale is marked Kräftig, mit humor, but the humor here comes across more as playfulness and charm. The main theme is ebullient in its folk-like charm and infectious downward runs, graceful and bright in its chipper mood. The thematic development that comes later is deftly imagined, as is the alternate material.

Fantasiestücke, Op. 88

The Phantasiestücke is really a trio and often simply listed as Schumann's Trio for violin, cello, and piano in A minor. The work came at a happy time in the composer's life: Schumann had married his beloved Clara Wieck in 1840 after her father had made many attempts to thwart their matrimonial plans. The four pieces, or movements, comprising the trio are "Romanze," "Humoreske," "Duett," and Finale. The "Romanze" opens in a tentative, mysterious mood, but then turns warmly Romantic, the piano dominating throughout. Lasting only two-and-a-half minutes or so, this is the shortest of the four pieces. The ensuing "Humoreske," marked Lebhaft (Lively), is the longest at about seven minutes and, by contrast, quite chipper and playful in its outer sections, featuring one of Schumann's catchiest themes. Its repetitive rhythmic downward turn gives this piece its self-deprecating wit, or its "humorous" manner. The interior panel here is lively and heroic, but does not completely break with the playful character of the opening. Following a driving, intense episode based on the main theme, the theme returns to its original guise to close out the movement. The "Duett" that follows, marked Langsam und mit ausdruck (Slowly and with feeling), is for cello and violin, the piano providing a soft, running accompaniment to their passionate singing. The Finale, designated Im Marsch-Tempo (In march tempo), exhibits a heroic character at the outset, but turns lighter and more playful in succeeding variations. The main theme returns and the subdued, lively ending is sheer magic in its feathery nonchalance, its graceful instrumental exchanges, and sense of joy.

Studien Für Den Pedal-Flügel, 6 Pieces in Canon, Op. 56 (Arr. Theodor Kirchner)

Schumann composed his Op. 56 Etudes, entitled Sechs Stücke in kanonischer Form (Six Pieces in Canonic Form), in the spring and summer of 1845. Along with the Four Sketches, Op. 58 for pedal piano, the Six Fugues, Op. 60, for organ, and the Four Fugues, Op. 72, for piano, the Etudes are the result of an intense "course" of counterpoint Schumann undertook with his wife, Clara, early in 1845. In an attempt to master the polyphonic style, Schumann wrote pieces in imitation of the works of J.S. Bach.
The Six Pieces in Canonic Form was published in September 1855 by F. Whistling in Leipzig as "Volume I." The second volume, however, never appeared, and the Four Sketches may have been intended as its contents. Schumann dedicated the canons to his first piano teacher, Johann Gottfried Kuntzsch, who was organist at St. Mary's in Zwickau.
Mozart is known to have used a pedal attachment for his piano in 1785. Around 1800, Johann Gottlob Wagner developed a pedal keyboard to add to a larger, square piano. By this time, two types of pedal pianos had developed, the first a device that used the same strings as the fingered keyboard, the second a separate unit placed under the grand piano, employing hammers to strike its own strings. It is most likely the latter type that the Schumann's possessed, primarily to practice playing organ works.Schumann expected the instrument to become popular, but this never happened, and his Op. 56 Etudes were arranged for piano two- and four-hands.
Schumann's Op. 56 Etudes bear a strong resemblance to Bach's Inventions in their texture. The first of the six is a strict canon at the octave in C major that touches on D minor in its second half. The canon deviates from it strict path only in the last two measures, all the while with a harmonic underpinning of sustained notes. The second piece, in A minor, features repeated chords in the left hand supporting a canonic texture in the right hand alone. The pedal part becomes very animated in the middle of the work, which closes in A major. After a brief introduction, the third Etude becomes a canon at the fourth below. Again, all the contrapuntal material appears in the right hand as the left plays a figuration that is clearly a nineteenth century idea. The fourth is much like the third in its distribution of material, the canon appearing in the right hand at first, but both hands sharing material when a new canon begins. No. 5 sounds the least Baroque of the set because of its detached chords; however, it becomes clear that a canon spins out between in the upper notes of the right and left hands. Halfway through the piece, a more legato canon begins. A two-part canon opens the final piece, which boasts the most active pedal part of the set.

John Palmer

Descriptions from:
www.arkivmusic.com
www.allmusic.com
Schumann en zijn pianotrio's
Op dit album zijn de complete pianotrio's voor viool, cello en piano van Robert Schumann te horen. Prachtig uitgevoerd door het Weense Altenberg Trio. Schumann behoorde tot de belangrijkste componisten van de muzikale periode van de Romantiek. Hij verkende met zijn koor- en orkestwerken vaak nieuwe mogelijkheden. Het eerste trio op dit album wordt over het algemeen gezien als het sterkste. Schumann's kamermuziek drijft op de piano. Dat gebeurt ook in deze opname, waarbij de strijkers ofwel de pianopartij volgen, ofwel als één blok in dialoog gaan met de piano.

Pianotrio's zijn muziekstukken, speciaal gecomponeerd voor een kamermuziekensemble, dat bestaat uit een piano en 2 andere instrumenten, meestal viool en cello. Het Altenberg Trio Wien is zo'n ensemble, opgericht in Wenen in1994. Hun repertoire bestaat uit meer dan 200 pianotrio's, waaronder vele zelfontdekte stukken, die zij voor het eerst voor het voetlicht brachten. Het Altenberg Trio Wien is in Europa een van de bekendste piano trio's van deze tijd.

Voor de Duitse Robert, Alexander Schumann (1810-1856) waren literatuur en muziek een bron van creativiteit. Toch won de muziek. Nadat hij een concert van Niccolo Paganine bezocht, besloot hij zich geheel aan de muziek te wijden en piano te gaan studeren bij de befaamde pianoleraar Friedrich Wieck in Leipzig, bij wie hij ook woonde. Een loopbaan als concertpianist kon Robert echter vergeten, hij verrekte een vinger. Het werd dus componeren. Bij Wieck, leerde Schumann zijn grote liefde Clara kennen. Maar Wieck stond een huwelijk met zijn oogappel Clara, een veelbelovend pianiste, niet toe. Zelfs de rechter moest er aan te pas komen voordat het stel kon trouwen. In zijn eerste gelukkige huwelijksjaren schreef Schumann de Lentesymfonie, een van zijn grootste successen. In 1850 werd hij stedelijk muziekdirecteur in Düsseldorf. Het lukte Schumann niet om zijn musici te motiveren, hij werd ontslagen en het ging bergafwaarts met zijn geestelijke gezondheid. Zo zelfs, dat hij in de Rijn sprong tijdens carnaval. Het was een Nederlandse schipper die hem redde. Het mocht niet baten, Schumann stierf uiteindelijk in een inrichting.

Artist(s)

Altenberg Trio Wien

The Altenberg Trio of Vienna came into being when Claus-Christian Schuster and Martin Hornstein, members of the Vienna Schubert Trio and Amiram Ganz, the initiator and violinist of the Shostakovitch Trio joined forces in January 1994. All three musicians had earned critical acclaim and world wide recognition with their performances in the world's most important chamber music venues for many years prior to the formation of the Altenberg Trio. Since its debut at the 1994 Salzburg Mozart Week, the Altenberg Trio has enjoyed great success with performances in the United States, Canada and Europe. The ensemble regularly appears in such distinguished venues as London, Wigmore Hall and was invited to perform at the Prague Spring Festival and the Orlando Festival....
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The Altenberg Trio of Vienna came into being when Claus-Christian Schuster and Martin Hornstein, members of the Vienna Schubert Trio and Amiram Ganz, the initiator and violinist of the Shostakovitch Trio joined forces in January 1994. All three musicians had earned critical acclaim and world wide recognition with their performances in the world's most important chamber music venues for many years prior to the formation of the Altenberg Trio. Since its debut at the 1994 Salzburg Mozart Week, the Altenberg Trio has enjoyed great success with performances in the United States, Canada and Europe. The ensemble regularly appears in such distinguished venues as London, Wigmore Hall and was invited to perform at the Prague Spring Festival and the Orlando Festival. In Australia the trio performs often at the Salzburg Mozarteum and presents a regular concert at Vienna's famed "Musikverein".
The "Viennese Touch", for which the Altenberg Trio has often been commended, is not simply a question of musical technique - phrasing, vibrato or portamento, dynamic or agogic accents, although these are a part of it. The Viennese style represents a specific artistic orientation, rooted in a city that was the center of an empire and the crossroads of many distinctive cultures in the 18th and 19th centuries. This style may be best-known outside of Austria through the city's music, because that is the art, whose stylistic refinements have made the strongest international impression. But it is also reflected in literature, painting (Klimt), architecture, psychology (Freud), philosophy (Wittgenstein) and even cuisines. That is one reason why it makes sense, for a pianist, violinist and cellist to form a trio named after a poet. Peter Altenberg (1859-1919), whose life and works reflect the spirit of an era when literature, science, art and music were closely interactive.

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Amiram Ganz

Violinist Amiram Ganz was born in Montevideo. He began to study violin in Uruguay with Israel Chorberg, the Leopold Auer-pupil Ilya Fidlon, and Jorge Risi. At the age of eleven he won the Jeunesses Musicales Contest and then continued his studies with Richard Burgin in the U.S.A. and Alberto Lysy at the International Academy of Chamber Music in Rome. Studying on a scholarship at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory between 1974 and 1979 he met Victor Pikaisen, who became his teacher. As finalist and award winner of several international competitions (Long-Thibaud/Paris, ARD/Munich, etc.), he became first concert master of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg in 1980. From 1987 until the foundation of the Altenberg Trio he was the violinist of the...
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Violinist Amiram Ganz was born in Montevideo. He began to study violin in Uruguay with Israel Chorberg, the Leopold Auer-pupil Ilya Fidlon, and Jorge Risi. At the age of eleven he won the Jeunesses Musicales Contest and then continued his studies with Richard Burgin in the U.S.A. and Alberto Lysy at the International Academy of Chamber Music in Rome. Studying on a scholarship at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory between 1974 and 1979 he met Victor Pikaisen, who became his teacher. As finalist and award winner of several international competitions (Long-Thibaud/Paris, ARD/Munich, etc.), he became first concert master of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg in 1980. From 1987 until the foundation of the Altenberg Trio he was the violinist of the Shostakovitch Trio, appearing at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Tchaikovsky Conservatory Moscow, etc. In 1994 he became a founding member of the Altenberg Trio of Vienna with pianist Claus-Christian Schuster and cellist Martin Hornstein, who was succeeded in 2004 by Alexander Gebert. With the Altenberg Trio Ganz performes in Europe and North America.
As a soloist he has collaborated with conductors Alain Lombard, Günter Kehr, Theodor Guschlbauer, Marc Soustrot, James Judd, Hiroyuki Iwaki, Nicolas Pasquet und others. He teaches violin and chamber music in Vienna Conservatory (Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität). Amiram Ganz plays a violin built in Saluzzo in 1686 by Goffredo Cappa (1644-1717); it was made available to the trio by an anonymous patron.

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Composer(s)

Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing. Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as Carnaval, Symphonic Studies, Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana, and the Fantasie in...
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Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing.
Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as Carnaval, Symphonic Studies, Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana, and the Fantasie in C are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal for Music), a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded.
In 1840, Schumann married Friedrich Wieck's daughter Clara, against the wishes of her father, following a long and acrimonious legal battle, which found in favour of Clara and Robert. Clara also composed music and had a considerable concert career as a pianist, the earnings from which, before her marriage, formed a substantial part of her father's fortune.
Schumann suffered from a mental disorder, first manifesting itself in 1833 as a severe melancholic depressive episode, which recurred several times alternating with phases of ‘exaltation’ and increasingly also delusional ideas of being poisoned or threatened with metallic items. After a suicide attempt in 1854, Schumann was admitted to a mental asylum, at his own request, in Endenich near Bonn. Diagnosed with "psychotic melancholia", Schumann died two years later in 1856 without having recovered from his mental illness.

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Press

Play album Play album
Disc #1
01.
Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63: I. Mit Energie Und Leidenschaft
11:31
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
02.
Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63: II. Lebhaft, Doch Nicht Su Rasch
04:41
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
03.
Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63: III. Langsam, Mit Inniger Empfindung
06:11
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
04.
Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63: IV. Mit Feuer
08:21
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
05.
Trio No. 2 in F Major, Op. 80: I. Sehr Lebhaft
07:25
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
06.
Trio No. 2 in F Major, Op. 80: II. Mit Innigem Ausdruck
07:13
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
07.
Trio No. 2 in F Major, Op. 80: III. in Mässiger Bewegung
05:11
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
08.
Trio No. 2 in F Major, Op. 80: IV. Nicht Zu Rasch
05:12
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien

Disc #2
01.
Trio No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 110: I. Bewegt, Doch Nicht Zu Rasch
11:00
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
02.
Trio No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 110: II. Ziemlich Langsam
05:59
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
03.
Trio No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 110: III. Rasch
04:25
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
04.
Trio No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 110: IV. Kräftig, Mit Humor
07:40
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
05.
Fantasiestücke, Op. 88: I. Romanze: Nicht Schnell, Mit Innigem Ausdruck
02:12
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
06.
Fantasiestücke, Op. 88: II. Humoreske: Lebhaft
07:37
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
07.
Fantasiestücke, Op. 88: III. Duett: Langsam, Und Mit Ausdruck
03:07
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
08.
Fantasiestücke, Op. 88: IV. Finale: Im Marsch Tempo
06:06
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
09.
Studien Für Den Pedal-Flügel, 6 Pieces in Canon, Op. 56 (Arr. Theodor Kirchner) : I. Nicht Zu Schnell
01:53
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
10.
Studien Für Den Pedal-Flügel, 6 Pieces in Canon, Op. 56 (Arr. Theodor Kirchner): II. Mit Innigem Ausdruck
03:45
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
11.
Studien Für Den Pedal-Flügel, 6 Pieces in Canon, Op. 56 (Arr. Theodor Kirchner) : III. Andantino
01:37
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
12.
Studien Für Den Pedal-Flügel, 6 Pieces in Canon, Op. 56 (Arr. Theodor Kirchner): IV. Innig
03:05
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
13.
Studien Für Den Pedal-Flügel, 6 Pieces in Canon, Op. 56 (Arr. Theodor Kirchner): V. Nicht Zu Schnell
02:23
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
14.
Studien Für Den Pedal-Flügel, 6 Pieces in Canon, Op. 56 (Arr. Theodor Kirchner) : VI. Adagio
03:53
(Robert Schuman) Altenberg Trio Wien
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