Piano Trio No.2 in a minor, Op.34
"Piano Trio No.2 in a minor, Op.34 dates from 1887. It is in three movements. The opening bars of the first movement, Allegro moderato, serve notice that this is a work which will scale mighty heights. The main theme, dominated by scale passages, has a thrusting muscular quality but also an austere, dark and brooding nobility. In two highly dramatic and striking episodes, the piano restates the opening theme, first in a soprano register then again in the bass, making it somehow sound as if there were an extra voice—all against the tremolo (the first time) and triplets (the second time) in the strings. In the middle movement, Lento, the strings, in one voice much of the time, state and develop the lovely first theme which has an undeniable vocal quality to it. The delicate lyricism of the music shows the influence of her teacher, Benjamin Godard. The finale, Allegro energico, begins with much of the power and resoluteness that appeared in the first movement. It is characterized by several exciting chromatic bridge passages as well as other original effects along with a very effective coda. This Trio certainly deserves to be heard in concert."---The Chamber Music Journal
Cecile Chaminade (1857-1944) studied privately with some of France’s best composers and pianists including Benjamin Godard. Unfortunately, she like many others, suffered from an unfair prejudice against women composers. But some, such as Ambrose Thomas, composer of the opera Mignon, recognized her talent. Upon hearing an orchestral work of the 18 year old Chaminade, he remarked, “This is no woman composer, this is a composer who happens to be a woman." Primarily a concert pianist, Chaminade wrote over 200 works for piano and toured the world to considerable acclaim performing them.
Here is a first class piano trio which should be of interest to both professionals and amateurs.