The pianist Dmitri Levkovitch (born in 1980), a former student of Sergei Babayan, is also a composer. His Trio for piano and strings begins with a melancholic Andante of timeless lyricism. This is followed by the first of three Trios Concertants by César Franck. “I wish I could tell you everything I’ve found beautiful about it,” Mendelssohn wrote to the young composer after hearing it. In the languid key of F sharp minor, this Opus 1 by César Franck, composed at the age of 18, already adopts the cyclical form so characteristic of its author.
In response to this early work is another: Trio No. 2, Op. 9, the so-called “elegiac” Trio, which Rachmaninoff wrote in shock at the news of the death of Tchaïkovski, who had been his mentor and friend. The lamentation of the strings, punctuated by a stubborn motif in the left hand of the piano, immediately sets the elegiac mood of the work. The second movement is a vast theme and variations, the theme of which is borrowed from The Rock, an orchestral tone poem by Rachmaninoff that Tchaïkovski loved. A brief and densely textured Finale closes the work.