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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67512
Recording details: July 2004
St Paul's School for Girls, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: March 2005
Total duration: 26 minutes 34 seconds

Piano Trio in F minor, Op 14
composer

Allegro moderato  [9'50]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Catoire’s Piano Trio in F minor, Op 14, was written in 1900. It is the first of a series of important chamber works, an extremely impressive and confident composition which enjoyed some popularity before the Russian Revolution. The musical language is drawn from Tchaikovsky and Arensky though some passages, especially in the first movement, remind one of Rachmaninov’s early works. Throughout, the writing is highly virtuosic – a hallmark of much of Catoire’s output. Indeed, the piano part has a panache and character more normally encountered in a piano concerto of this period.

The first movement opens with a dark and soaring theme of considerable beauty reminding us of Catoire’s undoubted gift for melody. Despite the shoals of notes in the piano part, Catoire is always careful to ensure that equality between the three instruments is maintained. The second movement scherzo, with its strong element of fantasy, has a restless quality enhanced by Catoire’s skilful use of irregular bar lengths. The central section is a fantasy of another kind: resembling a Russian folksong its soulful character again exploits irregular bar lengths especially that of five beats – a metre often used by Arensky and so prevalent in Russian folk music. The third movement finale is truly a tour de force. Intense and driven, once again Catoire piles on the technical demands – most especially in the piano part. The final presto coda makes a thrilling and scintillating conclusion to a work which would surely find many admirers in the concert hall.

from notes by Stephen Coombs © 2005

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