Piano Trio & Piano Quartet
Antonin Dvořák

Piano Trio & Piano Quartet

Various Artists

Label: CAvi
Format: CD
Barcode: 4260085534043
Catalog number: AVI 8553404
Releasedate: 03-08-18

- high calibre artists are playing together

- Josef Suk was the son-in-law of Antonín Dvořák, therefore interesting similarities in the music and tunes

Trio Quartett Live Recordings  SPANNUNGEN festival 2017

Rarely heard of

DVOŘÁK: „In 1876, Dvořák jotted down the Trio in G Minor, op. 26, in a mere 16 days. By that time, some of his masterpieces, including the Moravian Duets and the Stabat Mater, were starting to gain wider recognition – but the encounter with Brahms, which would stabilize him as an artist and clarify his musical tendencies, only took place the following year. Thus, many passages in this trio seem to be groping for direction: as Dvořák specialist John Clapham once remarked, they are still musically “insecure”.

Still, certain traits in this trio already seem to reveal Dvořák’s profound affinity with Brahms on an instinctive level. Gradually emerging from a series of brief motifs, the first movement’s main theme is subjected to thematic treatment throughout. This movement is also the longest, lasting a total of twelve minutes. Its generally gloomy, sombre mood does not yet reflect the true personal style of he who would soon write the Slavonic Dances. Notwithstanding, certain cello cantilenas in the slow movement and towards the end of the sombre, violent scherzo offer a foretaste of the great melodic gifts that Dvořák would soon reveal to the world.


SUK: „…The composition Suk submitted for the final exam is none other than the Piano Quartet in A Minor, op. 1. The first movement’s disarming impetuousness engulfs the listener like a shock wave, betraying not only the influence of Brahms, the true doyen of Late Romantic chamber music, but also that of Dvořák, his own teacher. More significantly, however, a personal style already becomes noticeable in this work. The energetic introductory movement is followed by a clear contrast: a muted, nocturne-like, melodically intense Adagio that sets in with a warm cello cantilena. The second movement’s expressive middle section exudes a fairy-tale-like atmosphere, similar to the one in the incidental music that Suk would later compose for the play Radúz and Mahulena. The final movement begins with a march-like main theme that is alternated with contrasting episodes, thus giving the general structural impression of a rondo… (Excerpts from the Booklet by Pedro Obiera)


This impressive building, built in the Art Nouveau style in 1905 and located in the beautiful Eifel region
(West Germany), is serving as a spectacular venue for the remarkable chamber music festival
„SPANNUNGEN: Music in Heimbach‘s Hydroelectric plant“ since 1998, in June of each year.
This musical event, where musicians of the highest caliber come together for a week of chamber music
rehearsals and concerts, bears a title that truly reflects its underlying concept: „Tensions” is not only an
allusion to the electric current normally produced in this hydroelectric installation, but also to the underlying
musical tensions and contrasts in the festival’s music programs. The artists and their audience embark on
a musical journey ranking from the Baroque era to contemporary music: each year we also première a new
work. Surprising parallels often emerge in such programs, along with exciting musical contrasts and thrilling
interplay between the hydropower station’s architecture, the picturesque surroundings and the music itself.
In Heimbach, it is always exciting to adapt to one’s musical partners. Yet the most important thing is to remain
fundamentally and constantly open to one’s partners’ musical suggestions and leanings. This excellent working
environment is capable of producing concerts and recordings of which all participants can be proud of. It is
our wish and our desire that, listening to these CD’s, you will be able to relive the special atmosphere.
Norbert Ely, former music editor at the Deutschlandfunk, once called our undertaking a true „grass roots
initiative for chamber music”. In fact, this festival owes its very existence to the selfless dedication of quite
a number of music and art lovers who are active members of the Association for the Promotion of the Arts
in the County of Düren: from the very beginning, they enthusiastically continue to make this wonderful
event possible. Without wide-ranging, varied engagement on the part of our sponsors – particularly
on the part of our main sponsor and event partner INNOGY SE (also our host at the Hydroelectric
plant), and on the part of our media partner, DEUTSCHLANDFUNK (which has supported this festival
since its inception) – a chamber music event such as this one could not even be possible.
My heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported us!
Lars Vogt (Artistic Director)