Schumann Trios - Rhodes Piano Trio
Rhodes Piano Trio
Michael Gurevich writes: "We have always loved this music for its overwhelming sincerity and serious nature, and are to this day puzzled as to why the trios by Schumann's colleagues, Brahms and Mendelssohn, are so much more often performed than his. Schumann's trios are in no way less attractive than their contemporaries, arguably more skillfully written, and much more extraordinary in their scope."
Grief overshadowed 1847 for Schumann: dear friend Fanny Mendelssohn died of a stroke in May; the following month his fourth child Emil died at just 16 months and Mendelssohn himself died in November. This grief permeates the first piano trio with its desperate and yearning melancholy, despite its masterful use of contrasts and optimistic ending. With its symphonic sweep and brilliant counterpoint, this is one of Schumann's great inspirations leading Clara his wife to comment: "The first movement is one of the most beautiful that I know," when they first performed it on her birthday in September.
Schumann began working on the second trio before he had completed the first, and in her diary Clara noted: "I love it passionately and keep on wanting to play it!" In the key of F major it certainly makes a dramatic contrast to the first, lit with high spirits and a breezy spaciousness. Schumann himself commented that "it makes a friendlier and more immediate impression."
Formed in 2003 at the Royal Northern College of Music The Rhodes Piano Trio won 2nd Prize at the 2011 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. Selected for representation by YCAT in 2010, the Trio has performed widely at venues and festivals across the UK and abroad, giving recitals at Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall, Edinburgh Fringe, Melbourne Recital Centre, the Aldeburgh, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Cordes sur Ciel, Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern and Schwetzinger Festivals. They have appeared on BBC Radio 3, SWR2 in Germany and ABC Classic FM in Australia. During the 2011/12 season the Trio were Fellows at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
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