Header image of page : RENCONTRES INÉDITES VI
chamber music


Shostakovich, Dvořák, Brahms / Barenboim – Kim – Saadi – Soltani –Liu–Shishkin

Drawn from his film scores, Shostakovich’s 5 Pieces for Two Violins and Piano were arranged by his film director friend, Lev Atovmyan, to keep him financially afloat, and are worlds away from his usual acerbic complexity. By contrast, Dvořák’s 4 miniatures and Smetana’s Piano Trio were labours of love.


Five Pieces for Two Violins and Piano
(Conunova, Bomsori, Shishkin)

ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Miniatures for Two Violins and Viola Op. 75a
(Bomsori, Conunova, Barenboim)


Piano Trio No. 1 in B major Op. 8
(Liu, Barenboim, Soltani)

Uncomplicatedly congenial and amateur-friendly, Shostakovich’s suite for two violins and piano draws its melodies from the many scores he wrote for the Soviet film industry for financial reasons. After a sentimental Prelude come a sunnily four-square Gavotte, a tender Elegy, a Waltz, and a merry Polka. Dvořák penned his 4 miniatures of 1887 for personal pleasure, so he could play his viola with an amateur violinist he lived with, plus their teacher. Its contrasting movements are a lyrical Cavatina, a lively Cappriccio, a tender Romance and a sighing Elegie. Smetena’s elegiac four-movement Piano Trio – full of falling figures, with a funeral march towards the end of its finale – was written in 1855, in anguished response to the death of his young daughter. He later explained that articulating his grief through chamber forces was ‘as though in a small friendly circle they are discussing amongst themselves what so obviously troubles me.’