Piano Trio No.4 in A Major, Op.85
"It is absolutely wrong that Anton Rubinstein's Fourth Piano Trio, dating from 1870, has been neglected and is not performed in concert...The big first movement, Moderato assai, has a Russian folk melody of an elegiac nature for its main theme. The movement is by turns lyrical and passionate. The very original second movement, Moderato con moto, is a real devil's dance with unusual harmony, while the middle section provides good contrast. The third movement, Andante, begins in a deeply religious mood but this calm is periodically broken by stormy episodes. This is an effective and very impressive movement. The stunning finale, an Allegro, immediately attracts attention through the chromatic turbulence in the piano part juxtaposed against a yearning melody in the strings. This movement will certainly greatly please any concert audience."---Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Handbook for Piano Trio Players.
Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894) was one of those rare concert virtuosi whose contribution to music went far beyond performing. In 1862, he founded the St. Petersburg Conservatory and served as its first director. His efforts in developing Russian musical talent were perhaps the greatest of any single individual. Not only did he introduce European educational methods but he also established standards that were as rigorous as any conservatory in Europe. Rubinstein was a prolific composer writing in nearly every genre. Chamber music figures prominently amongst his works. He wrote 10 string quartets, at least 5 piano trios, a string quintet and a string sextet as well as several instrumental sonatas.
Our edition is the only one with rehearsal letters. This is a first rate, outstanding work, which deserves performance in the concert hall but experienced amateurs will also get great pleasure from this fine work.