The gifted 16-year-old Shostakovich gave his first Trio the Scriabin-like title “Poème” and it carries more than a whiff of that mad genius’s heady chromatic perfume. But the dry irony and grotesquery that became the Soviet composer’s signature are there too. Born out of the maelstrom of his father’s death, the onset of tuberculosis, first love and the bitter depredations of post-civil war Petrograd, this is a fascinating work by a student already in complete mastery of harmony, counterpoint and form.
Back in 1811, another young composition student, somewhat better connected than Dmitry, became the dedicatee of the first of four masterpieces by his teacher. In the great “Archduke” Trio, inscribed to the Austrian Emperor’s youngest son, Beethoven the composer was at the height of his powers, but deafness had destroyed the piano virtuoso and the hash he made of the premiere performance prompted his permanent retirement from the stage.
No danger of that here as one of the finest violinists in the world, Anthony Marwood, teams up with two globally renowned players with deep Australian connections: prodigious Melbourne-born pianist-composer Stefan Cassomenos and the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s greatly loved leading cellist Timo-Veikko “Tipi” Valve.
Shostakovich: Piano Trio No.2 in E minor, Op.67 Beethoven: Piano Trio in B-flat major Op.97 ‘Archduke’
Anthony Marwood, violin Timo-Veikko Valve, cello Stefan Cassomenos, piano