Rachmaninoff: Trio Élégiaque No.2 Op.9

Rachmaninoff: Trio Élégiaque No.2 Op.9
Composer Sergei Rachmaninoff
Artist Trio RoVerde
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 96563
EAN code 5028421965635
Release September 2023

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About this release

As a young man, fresh from his first real success as a composer with the opera Aleko, Rachmaninoff was on his way to visit his mentor Tchaikovsky when he saw a crowd gathered outside. The news of Tchaikovsky’s death sent him into a tail-spin, and he passed the next few weeks alone, walking and writing this magnificent ‘Trio Elegiaque’ in memory of Tchaikovsky.

Although the Trio is an early work, it bears the unmistakable imprint of Rachmaninoff’s musical personality. His virtuosity as a pianist is manifest throughout in the writing for his own instrument, but there are passages of no less glittering brilliance for the strings. The piece as a whole is conceived on the grandest scale, at around 50 minutes in length, emulating the example and form of the ‘Trio Elegiaque’ which Tchaikovsky had composed in memory of Nikolai Rubinstein.

No understanding of Rachmaninoff is complete without the Trio, and this anniversary year, 150 years since his birth, has produced a magnificent new recording made by the established international collective of Trio RoVerde. The trio’s pianist is Ekaterina Litvintseva, ‘the Arctic Circle Pianist’ now resident in Germany, who has several highly praised recordings on Brilliant Classics to her name including a personal choice of solo works by the pioneering Croatian composer Dora Pejačević (PCL10226): ‘Ekaterina Litvintseva has been amassing a distinguished discography– and this … exhibits the combination of sensitivity and self-assurance that have marked her playing up until now… you owe it to yourself to make the acquaintance of Dora Pejačević.’

The Trio RoVerde has also recorded the Triple Concerto of Beethoven, on a 2021 album (96483): ‘Litvintseva plays with ease and grace… The musicians play well together, seamlessly trading off and matching each other’s sound.’ (Fanfare). Alongside the Trio are two complementary sets of salon pieces by the young Rachmaninoff, dating from his years as a prodigious student but already infused with the potent strain of yearning Romanticism that would carry his name far and wide: Two Pieces Op.2 for cello and piano, and two Morceaux de salon Op.6 for violin and piano.

· The Trio Élégiaque Op. 9 by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) is a remarkable composition that shows the immense talent and emotional depth of the Russian composer. Written when Rachmaninoff was just 19 years old, this three-movement work for piano, violin, and cello is a poignant expression of sorrow and longing.
· The opening movement sets a somber tone with its mournful melodies and melancholic harmonies, transporting the listener to a world of profound introspection. The second movement contrasts with a fiery and passionate character, exhibiting Rachmaninoff's virtuosic piano writing and intense emotional outpouring. The finale returns to the introspective mood, ending the piece with a sense of longing and unresolved emotions.
· Despite its youthful origin, the Trio élégiaque Op. 9 foreshadows the rich and romantic style that would become synonymous with Rachmaninoff's later works.
· Played by Ekaterina Litvintseva (piano), Lusiné Harutyunyan (violin) and Caroline Sypniewski (cello), three successful soloists on their own, joining forces into this powerful, passionate and lyrical performance of Rachmaninoff’s chamber music.


Track list

Disk 1

  1. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Trio élégiaque No. 2, Op. 9: I. Moderato – Allegro vivace
  2. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Trio élégiaque No. 2, Op. 9: II. Quasi variazione. Andante
  3. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Trio élégiaque No. 2, Op. 9: III. Allegro risoluto – Moderato
  4. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Lied in F Minor
  5. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Prelude in F Major, Op. 2 No. 1
  6. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Danse Orientale in A Major, Op. 2 No. 2
  7. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Morceaux de salon, Op. 6: I. Romance
  8. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Morceaux de salon, Op. 6: II. Hungarian Dance