One of the most recognised and well-known of today’s leading piano trios, the much-loved Eggner Trio makes a welcome return to Australia this November for its fourth national tour for Musica Viva.
Founded in 1997 by three brothers – Georg (violin), Florian (cello), and Christoph (piano) – this acclaimed trio first received international recognition when it won the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in 2003.
Now, it performs regularly around the world in such distinguished venues as Wigmore Hall in London and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
On this tour, the trio performs works by Clara and Robert Schumann, Dvořák, Brahms, and Australian composer Dulcie Holland whose 1944 wartime trio is at the centre of both programs.
Describing how the ensemble came to programme Holland’s trio, a work that has been described as a gem of Australian music, Christoph Eggner says “We played Ian Munro’s trio last time we were in Australia and he said that we should check out Dulcie Holland. We listened to many different composers and finally we were so fond of Dulcie Holland because of this really good composition. It’s one big impressionistic crescendo.”
The other female composer featured on this tour is Clara Schumann whose piano trio was praised by Mendelssohn and may have inspired her husband, Robert, to try his hand at the same extended form.
“Clara Schumann was 26 years old when she composed that trio,” says Christoph. “It is a lovely trio, full of humour.”
“Of course the first movement is pretty dramatic, but then you have music that is like balsam for the soul. The slow movement is the highlight of the whole trio.”
The Eggner Trio has paired Clara Schumann’s music with the tortured score of Robert Schumann’s 1851 third piano trio, a work composed when the author was depressive and possibly syphilitic.
“It’s an unruly piece, not easy,” says Christoph. “There are of course lovely moments, but there is always this swing from one extreme to the other. We want to show the audience that there are pieces that might not be easy to listen to but are absolutely worth hearing.”
Ending both programs, respectively, are Dvořák’s irresistible ‘Dumky’, a work that is a perfect fit for the Eggners, and Brahms’ youthful Trio op 8 that, in its day, was quickly taken up by both amateur and professional performers.
Of returning to Australia, Christoph says “We want to bring something new every time and not disappoint, and perhaps perform a little bit better than the last time. It’s an unconscious feeling that we have, that we want to top a little bit.”
The performers: Georg Eggner – violin/ Florian Eggner – cello/ Christoph Eggner – piano
Monday 9 November: C. Schumann Piano Trio in G Minor, op 17/ Holland Piano Trio/ Brahms Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, op 8
Saturday 14 November, Matinee: R. Schumann Piano Trio No. 3 in G minor, op 110/ Holland Piano Trio/ Dvořák Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor, “Dumky”, op 90
Tickets: 1800 688 482 or visit www.musicaviva.com.au