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Tchaikovsky, Kissine: Piano Trios / Gidon Kremer

Album Summary

>Kissine, Victor : Zerkalo (The Mirror), for piano trio
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Trio for Piano and Strings in A minor, Op. 50
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This newest project from Gidon Kremer is one of the events of the season: the great violinist in a new trio with two outstanding young musicians, Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and Lithuanian cellist Giedre Dirvanauskaite, celebrated as two of the most gifted players of their generation. It features a pair of compositions bracketing the history of Russian chamber music - a revelatory account of Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio, juxtaposed with Victor Kissine's Zerkalo of 2009.

Tchaikovsky has not previously been heard on ECM. When Kremer and friends play the Trio for piano, violin and violoncello op. 50, composed in 1882, they wring the emotion from the music's Russian soul, and simultaneously convey the sense that the music is both modern and timeless.

Kremer recorded the work live for another label some years ago, but he wanted to return to the music as an "elder statesman" and bring to it the knowledge and insights acquired along the way. The result is a landmark ECM album. The recording was made at Munich's Church of the Ascension (Himmelfahrtskirche) with Manfred Eicher producing: ECM New Series sound at its most glorious. Cellist Giedre Dirvanauskaite has been a member of Kemerartica Baltica since 1997. In her native Lithuania she took masterclasses with Rostropovich and Tatjana Grindenko. Both Dirvanauskaite and Khatia Buniatishvili appeared on Kremer's recent Hymns and Prayers for ECM, where Buniatishvili, recent winner of a prestigious Borletti-Buitioni Trust Award, delivered an exceptional performance in the César Franck Piano Quintet.

The Observer
The Kissine is a work of ghostly fragmentation, like a broken discourse which grows in coherence. It leads straight into the soulful opening of the Tchaikovsky. Kremer leads with an air of languid tragedy, which is yet visceral and richly expressive. Many recordings of this work exist. I liked the intensely Russian, almost coarse authenticity of this performance.

BBC Music Magazine
[Zerkalo] proves to be an intriguing companion piece for the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio...Kremer and his colleagues deliver a powerfully projected performance which in its more elegiac moments emphasises certain musical gestures that can be related back to the [Tchaikovsky]...their interpretation of the Tchaikovsky is inflected by a similar modernist aesthetic bringing into focus the music's highly original narrative and its astonishingly resourceful approach approach to colour

The Independent
Gidon Kremer's dazzling trio here offers two contrasting approaches to the Piano Trio, both offering unexpected pleasures...[the Kissine is] particularly notable for the way Kremer's violin sustains the high notes of the piano, blending seamlessly to produce reflections between the elements Tchaikovsky considered so antithetical.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Himmelfahrtskirche, München (08/2010).


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Works Details

>Kissine, Victor : Zerkalo (The Mirror), for piano trio
  • Performers: Giedre Dirvanauskaite (Cello); Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano); Gidon Kremer (Violin)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2009

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Trio for Piano and Strings in A minor, Op. 50
  • Performers: Giedre Dirvanauskaite (Cello); Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano); Gidon Kremer (Violin)
  • Running Time: 47 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1882