Piano Trio No.2 in e minor
Thťodore Dubois' Piano Trio No.2 was composed, and premiered to critical acclaim, seven years after his First Trio. Upon its 1911 premiere, the influential French musical journal wrote, "A work of lofty inspiration, full of delicacy and expression."
Thťodore Dubois (1837-1924), after graduating from the Paris Conservatory, where he studied with Ambroise Thomas and won the coveted Prix de Rome, enjoyed a long career during which he held many important positions, including that of director of the Madeleine, where he succeeded Saint-SaŽns, and later of the Paris Conservatory. Among his many students were Paul Dukas and Florent Schmitt.
Dubois wrote a considerable amount of music in nearly every genre. Like Saint SaŽns, he eschewed impressionism, and continued on in the French Romantic tradition which the former had helped to pioneer. It is characterized by, logic, clarity, fine melody, drama and a refined sense of taste. His music is finely crafted and clearly shows that he was a gifted melodist. It is truly a pity his chamber music is unknown because it is absolutely first rate.
Despite the fact that Dubois was 74 when he composed this work, it is filled with the same youthful qualities and spontaneity as his First Trio. The broad and expansive opening theme to the first movement, Allegretto con moto, first heard in the cello, sets the tone and pace for the entire work. The second movement, also Allegretto, is lighter, less romantic, and more airy than the first. Here, Dubois creates an interesting dialogue between the piano and the strings. This is followed by an Adagio of a serious nature. Perhaps the emotional high point of the trio, the music is characterized by very fine harmony and contrapuntal writing. The finale, Allegro, is a witty synthesis of the many motifs from the earlier movements.
Like the First Trio, this one also belongs to the first rank of such works and belongs in the concert hall. It will also find friends among amateurs. Long out of print, it is with pleasure that we reintroduce it.