Dear customers, we would like to inform you that due to the current situation concerning the novel corona virus, exit restrictions have been imposed in Austria. For this reason we kindly ask you to send all requests in written form to [email protected]. We ask for your patience in case we are not able to process your requests at the usual speed - due to legal regulations, companies in Austria are currently only able to operate at reduced capacity. However, we would like to assure you that Universal Edition will continue to look after its customers in times like these. Best regards, your Universal Edition team.
These three “essays” for piano trio have become classics of new chamber music since their premiere in the early 1980s. Rihm is fully aware of the “strangeness” or “foreignness” of his chamber-music “scenes,” in particular that of the second Trio, which bears the title Charakterstück [“character piece”], reminding listeners of Schumann. The composer warns: “The foreign tongue speaks its very own language, no note is quoted – [the music] falls, plunges into the notes.”
The history of the genre already seems to be apparent in the first Trio behind a veil, typical of Rihm’s gestures – impulsiveness, characteristically obsessive repetitions and pensive, meditative moments. The “character piece” is replete with surprises; the composer is inviting listeners on a surreal journey.
The beginning of the third Trio is fragmentary, languorous, with silences between the fragments; tradition seems to have receded into the background. But it returns after about three minutes, with gestures and paraphrases perhaps more reminiscent of Beethoven and Brahms than Schumann. In the course of the work the music shifts about oddly as Rihm seems to be playing with tradition, steering the music into pathways which surprise and fascinate the listener.