sat 16. july at 7.30 pm
KIRILL RODIN, cello
NATALIA RUBINSTEIN, piano
Piano Trio in A Major "In memory of Anton Rubinstein" (1895)
V. ALOIZ (1860–1918)
Piano Trio in F major, Op 40 (1897) World premiere
DM. SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Piano Trio No 2, Op 67 (1944)
The world premiere of the Piano Trio by Vladyslav Aloiz will be performed in concerts at the 'Grieg in Bergen' Festival. The life and fame of this outstanding cellist and composer were destroyed by the Russian Revolution, scattered in the whirlwind of the change of epochs, world views and aesthetic touchstones, while his very name vanished from both the history of music and the memory of subsequent generations of musicians.
Vladislav Aloiz was born 1860 in Prague, graduated from the Prague Conservatoire with Franz Hegenbart. From 1880 to 1897 Aloiz taught the cello and piano at the Conservatory in Warsaw and at the music colleges of the Russian Imperial Music Society in Kiev and Odessa, performing as a soloist and conductor as well as a member of the Kiev String Quartet. He was known to perform Variations on a Rococo Theme with an orchestra conducted by Tchaikovsky himself during Tchaikovsky's triumphant visit to Odessa in January 1893. In 1998, Aloiz moved to St Petersburg, where he has got a position of a professor at the St Petersburg Conservatoire and the soloist of the Imperial Symphony Orchestra. An outstanding cellist and composer, the author of two concertos for cello and orchestra and other works for his instrument, piano trio, a lot of piano and vocal works, Vladislav Aloiz was a significant musical figure of the early 20th century. On the occasion of his 50th birthday, which was much celebrated in St Petersburg in 1910, the Russian Emperor Nicholas II gifted him a Domenico Montagnana cello. That cello was subsequently played by the famous Russian cellist Natalia Gutman throughout her career, and the almost detective circumstances of her "meeting" with that cello deserve a story of their own.
In 1918 Aloiz, taking nothing, not even the cello, left his flat in St Petersburg and disappeared for ever. Nothing more is known of him. It is still unknown what really happened, whether he fled Russia abroad or died on the streets of revolutionary Petrograd.
In a sense, we feel like musical Columbuses, discovering new lands. Our searches in the Russian State Archives, in museums and private collections, in the archives of the Library of Congress in Washington, and in the libraries of European and American universities, have unearthed manuscripts and rare editions of works which until now have been consigned to oblivion (along with, in many cases, the names of their authors). Among these discoveries is music of breathtaking beauty that thrills the performers. We are certain that, in the future, ensemble repertoire will be unthinkable without these works that will have their own place in the history of chamber music from now on and forever.
Vladyslav Aloiz' Piano Trio in F Major, which score was found in the archives of the University of Southern California Library, is one such delightful acquisition. Magnificently romantic, passionate and virtuoso, this trio, written apparently during Aloiz's stay in Kiev and dedicated to his colleague and friend the virtuoso pianist Vladimir Puchalsky, has remained unheard over the course of a whole century. This Trio will be performed for the first time at the 'Grieg in Bergen' Festival and we believe that our listeners will fall in love with this music as strongly as we have.
Paul Pabst (1854–1897)
Piano Trio in A major “To the memory of Anton Rubinstein” (1895)
A tragic sense of loss and a funereal, elegiac mood combined with a tendency to the minor keys and the special, confessional nature of their musical statements are all characteristic traits of the Russian piano trio since the very first pieces by Russian composers. It is right this emotional pattern that lies at the basis of the genre of the "musical epitaph" in which Russian composers have so frequently written since Tchaikovsky’s days. So much the more unusual, then, is the “Piano Trio in Memory of Anton Rubinstein” in A major, shattering as it does these canons and archetypes. After over 100 years of oblivion, we are proud to present at last this remarkable composition to our listeners.
Its author was the brilliant virtuoso pianist Paul Pabst. A professor of the Moscow Conservatory and the teacher of Igumnov and Goldenweiser (who today epitomise the Moscow piano school), Pabst was a friend of the Rubinsteins and of Tchaikovsky and performed in piano ensembles with Taneyev and Rachmaninov, as well as accompanying nearly all touring artists from Europe in their performances in Moscow. He was also the first to perform the compositions of many of his contemporaries and the author of a number of virtuoso transcriptions and paraphrases that were included in the concert repertoire by Nikolai Rubinstein, Taneyev, Siloti, Hoffmann, Rachmaninov and many others. Tchaikovsky entrusted Pabst with the edition of his piano works and Anton Rubinstein considered him to be the best performer of his music, while Pabst, like most of his contemporaries, worshipped Rubinstein, bowing to the greatness of his personality and his unbounded abilities as a pianist.
An ineffable beauty and Mahler-like fragility of the third movement, entitled “Rêverie élégiaque” by the author, hands us the key to the essence of this memorial work as a treasury of Pabst’s luminous and joyous memories of Anton Rubinstein.
They met for the first time in Weimar. Rubinstein was visiting Liszt at the time when Pabst came to study with him. Possibly meant as a token of that first meeting which had such a deep impact on Pabst’s life, a nearly direct quote from Liszt’s “Orpheus” at the Trio’s Finale sounds like a solemn and triumphant hymn to Anton Rubinstein. The funeral march that invades this apotheosis turns out to be as sudden for the listener as the news of Rubinstein's death was sudden for his contemporaries.
Pabst’s Piano Trio is a true panegyric to the art of pianism that has preserved for us musical impressions of that time. Its score is full of quotations from works that were performed by Rubinstein and his contemporaries, of allusions to the repertoire that was popular by those times, and of characteristic traits of the grand pianistic style – all living reminders of that epoch at the centre of which stood the figure of Anton Rubinstein.
Since its foundation in 1990, the Brahms Trio has regularly appeared at prestigious international concert venues, such as the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Elbphilharmonie Laeiszhalle Grand Hall, the Brucknerhaus Linz and Seoul Art Centre, as well as at festivals in Melbourne, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Paris and London. Legendary musicians such as Tatiana Gaidamovich, Rudolf Barshai, Alexander Bonduriansky (Moscow Trio), and Valentin Berlinsky (Borodin Quartet) have had a significant influence on the formation of the performing style and career of the trio.
The Brahms Trio has made an invaluable contribution to enlarging the chamber repertoire by rediscovering unknown piano trios of Russian composers of the late-19th and early-20th century. In November 2020, Naxos started to release a series of 15 CDs entitled the 'History of the Russian Piano Trio', the first anthology of the Russian piano trio recorded by the Brahms Trio. This series, named the 'Herculean project' by Tully Potter (Musical Opinion, Dec 2021), became, in Daniel Morrison's definition 'a treasured contribution to the collection of chamber music recordings' (Fanfare, July 2021), attracted audiences from the very first releases and gained world-wide recognition. Recordings of the Trios by Alyabiev, Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky, Pabst, Rimsky-Korsakov, Cui, Taneyev, Arensky as well as world premiere recordings of Trios by Dyck, Sternberg and Youferov have received the highest acclaim from Remy Franck, Donald R. Vroon, Stephen Estep, Marina Frolova-Walker, David Nice, Jeremy Cahen, Kai Luehrs-Kaiser, Peter Kislinger, Markus Stabler, and other leading music critics in such magazines as Classica, Pizzicato, BBC Music Magazine, Fono Forum, Crescendo, Das Orchester, Musical Life, etc, as well as nominated for an International Classical Music Award (ICMA), and voted Best CDs of 2021 by Gramophone and American Record Guide magazines.
"Brilliant artists who perfectly master all the musical capacities of their instruments, the members of the Brahms Trio also have those rare virtues that are necessary to achieve a real ensemble sound – modesty, flexibility, the desire and ability to hear each other, trust in the voice of the partner. That's why the Brahms Trio's performances are creating such incredible emotional power".
Maestro Rudolf Barshai
DateSAT16. JULY 2022
at 7.30 pm
The concert are situated in Korskirken - the Church of the Cross, a charming medieval church in the heart of Bergen City...
The artists also performEs at:
voss churchWED 14. JULY AT 1PM
KORSKIRKEN NIGHT CONCERTMON 15. JULY 2022
at 7.30 pm