Piano trio recommendations
As a homework assignment of sorts, my daughter’s teacher asked her to find trios she would be interested in playing. We sent him this list to narrow things down, and he said that Easy and Intermediate should be within her reach.
It’s A LOT of material to get through (just half of Haydn trios is over 5 hours of listening). Ideally, we would like to find something fairly balanced for all three players. My daughter is 13, and working on the first movement of Saint-Saëns 3, and I would assume that the other two would be similar in age and ability (we know the cellist; piano is TBD). Any help in narrowing things down, would be greatly appreciated.
If she can play such a concerto practically the entire repertoire is open to her. The choice would then depend on how much chamber music experience she and her partners have. Assuming she has little I'd think one should stay in the classical era, keeping the technical difficulties at a moderate level.
Thank you both! Apologies for not putting PIANO trio in the title earlier, Elise. Since what we currently have are a violinist and a cellist, it’s possible to go in that direction as well, although good young violists are super hard to find.
The Mendelssohn and Schubert piano trios are marvelous and worth listening to even if they are not ready to tackle them as a trio.
The Dvorak trio on that list is really nice. Have them get together and read a few things and figure out what sparks their interest.
I recommend the g minor trio by Elfrida Andrée. In my book it is on par with the Mendelssohn trios.
hi Sue, this is a recurring theme on the site here, if you search [trio suggestions] here in the search box on this site, you will find a lot of information already. the general comment is that it's mainly up to the pianist, because they typically have the leading role, so, they need to be able to play their part more or less effortlessly, otherwise it's really not fun anymore.
I saw that, Jean. Since we don’t have one in mind, the pianist will likely be chosen from some local piano teachers’ students. I figured we can find the right fit, someone who can play at a high level.
I'm going to put a finer point on Jean's comment about the pianist. When young people are assigned piano trios generally the level of the work chosen comes down to the skill of the pianist. Even the famous Haydn "Gypsy" trio has a hard piano part. If you choose something with parts that challenge the individual players, then their parts will be their focus, not the ensemble, and the special opportunity to learn the nuances of chamber playing will be largely lost.
Please do tell us what you eventually choose. :)
That's a very good list. I definitely agree with Paul and Jean, the limiting factor will be the pianist especially at this age. Also, even if everyone is capable of more, I think they're better starting with less-difficult music and working on good ensemble and getting a good sound together.
Good points above about keeping the rep simple so that you can emphasize the ensembling and musicality. This is particularly important for a pianist that has not played in a trio before because my experience is that they will too often play to come out and not to fit in - and what with 230 strings and a giant sound box they will invariably 'win' (and the strings may wonder what they are there for).
I'm not an expert on piano trios, but I agree there's likely some suitable stuff by Mendelssohn and Schubert. I wouldn't recommend the beautiful Mendelssohn Trio in D Minor, though, because the piano part is infamously difficult. And yes, I do have to say that a lot of the time, piano parts can be much more difficult than the string parts.
Definitely have seen even adult pianists overplay their parts, so will try to start with something simpler so they can come together as a group first.
Once they come together as a group, after a year or two of chamber music experience, Beethoven op. 70 no. 1 "Ghost" has gotten a lot of mileage for the more advanced groups in the kids' chamber music organization. The piano part like Ella says is not quite as difficult as the Mendelssohn trios, more like the Schubert trios. And even though that list shows Archduke along with op. 70, I personally think Archduke is far more challenging musically if not technically, to the point that I've never heard a high school group perform it well.
Thanks for sharing, Stan. Really nicely done!
Your limiting factor of course is going to be the pianist. The piano parts even for late Haydn can be stunningly difficult.
since everybody makes recommendations for later let me add mine. They are trios whose piano part is difficult but still playable.
nice suggestions Albrecht! although I think children would not connect as much with these pieces as adults would, I'd say, but then, these are not ordinary children we're talking about.
If you're playing Shostakovich no. 2 in a high school group and you don't want to learn the entire piece, the last movement recalls themes from the previous ones and can stand on its own in that context. Not at 13 but later in high school the kids will be familiar with what was going on in Europe at the time, and its expression in music will not be lost. (Have them listen to the Borodin Trio recording first.)
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