Piano Trio in G minor Op.3

Composer: Ernest Chausson (b. 1855 - d. 1899)
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Composer: Ernest Chausson (b. 1855 - d. 1899)

Performance date: 05/07/2009

Venue: Bantry Library

Composition Year: 1881-2

Duration: 00:33:10

Recording Engineer: Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation: vn, vc, pf

Instrumentation Category:Piano trio

Artists: Cerys Jones - [violin]
Aoife Nic Athlaoich - [cello]
Cliodna Shanahan - [piano]

Piano Trio in G minor Op.3


Ernest Chausson was lucky
enough to be born into a privileged family that allowed him to
cultivate his considerable talent as a writer, artist and composer
without having to worry about earning a living from such unreliable
occupations. He satisfied parental expectations by studying law but,
fuelled by an introspecive, melancholy nature, he decided to dedicate
himself to music. In 1879 he entered the Paris Conservatoire to study
under Massenet, who considered him
an
exceptional person and a true artist.
At
the Conservatoire Chausson siezed the opportunity to attend the
classes of César Franck, whose mystical instructions suited
Chausson’s interests and natural inclination. It is during this
time that the young composer began his numerous pilgrimages to
Bayreuth to hear Wagner, who remained a strong influence throughout
Chausson’s career.

Following
an unsuccessful tilt at the Prix de Rome in 1881, Chausson set out to
prove himself by writing this piano trio that we hear today. With its
thick textures, dark harmonic progressions and abrupt dynamic
changes, the Trio’s first movement betrays the presence of César
Franck. The work opens with a powerful slow introduction where we
hear the Trio’s recurring motif for the first time. The main
section of the movement develops the two main themes with the violin
especially prominent in leading the way.

The
second movement is a short and jaunty scherzo of rustic character.
After the lightness of the scherzo the third movement, marked
assez
lent
, returns to
the elegiac style of the opening section. Textures thickened by the
doubling of the parts support the cyclic themes, here in the piano in
the dark key of D minor. The same cyclic themes eventually complicate
the deceptive cheerfulness of the opening of the finale allowing the
work to come full circle.