The piano trio is an exercise in funambulism, because it is a question of organizing the conversation between three instruments of a very different nature. Listening between the musicians is of the utmost importance, in order to find, together, the delicate balance that will allow the greatest harmony to emerge. The candidates of this first round must therefore demonstrate, beyond technical mastery, the finesse of their ear, the acuity of their collective intelligence and, ultimately, their musicality, qualities that are certainly less demonstrative than the dazzling virtuosity of a fingertip virtuosity but nevertheless absolutely necessary for any violinist.
Composed in 1840, Mendelssohn’s trio in D minor was quickly considered one of the composer’s best chamber music works and many of his contemporaries – Schumann above all – celebrated its formal balance, inventiveness and expressive power. The third movement of the piece, a concise and luminous scherzo, will constitute the imposed work of this first round. This will be followed by a second trio, given this time in its entirety, and chosen in advance from a stylistically broad list ranging from Viennese classicism – Haydn, Beethoven – to German romanticism (Schubert, Brahms), and even extending into the first 20th century, with Shostakovich’s second trio, Frank Martin’s trio on Irish folk tunes or Ravel’s trio. This varied palette will allow each participant to highlight his or her personal taste, sensitivity, and sense of instrumental colour.
Trio avec piano / L. v. Beethoven
/ J. Brahms
/ M. Ravel