Piano Chamber Music

Schubert: Piano Trio in Eb Major, Op. 148, D. 897

Stuttgart Piano Trio | Naxos 1989

Entitled Notturno, this is a single movement piece for piano, violin and cello, completed in 1827.  It features a famous melody played by the violin and cello in thirds, over simple Eb major arpeggiated chords in the piano.  Although it is in a major key, it feels like a very sad piece to me, which I think is partly due to its open simplicity and slow moving phrases.  The piano also takes a turn at the melody at various points, with the string instruments playing a pizzicato accompaniment.

Mendelssohn: Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 49, MWV 29

Van Baerle Trio | Challenge Classics 2014

Completed in 1839, the first movement of this trio is an energetic Allegro with a very busy texture from the outset, the piano in particular given lots of fast, running passages.  The second movement is refreshingly calm, the three instruments taking their turn at a beautiful, lyrical melody.  There are moments of passion where the string instruments play with a very intense sound, crescendoing through long notes, and the piano part is given repeated, insistent chords.  The third movement is a fast, fun Scherzo, the piano again has lots of fast scale passages to play and short motifs are passed around the instruments.


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