Dmitry Shostakovich

Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67

    Description by Patsy Morita

    Shostakovich's Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 67, is remarkable for a number of reasons. It was written in 1944, just after his Symphony No. 8, with which it shares its overall structure; it is a lamentation for both Shostakovich's close friend, musicologist Ivan Sollertinsky, and the victims of the Holocaust, the news of which horror did not reach the U.S.S.R. until the liberation of the camps began; and it is his first work to employ a "Jewish theme," a musical tribute that used the scales and rhythms of Jewish folk music as Shostakovich knew it. Shostakovich began composing the trio in December 1943. He had only completed sketches, which he was able to share with Sollertinsky before Sollertinsky's death in February 1944. Shostakovich performed the piano part in the premiere, on November 14, 1944, in Leningrad, with violinist Dmitri Tsyganov and cellist Sergei Shirinsky, both members of the Beethoven String Quartet. The first movement begins with an Andante canon, the melody played first by the cello in harmonics, which makes it the top voice, then the violin, which becomes the lower string voice, followed by the piano in the lowest register. This then breaks into a slightly faster Moderato, where the same melody is developed into a second one, and the use of canon continues. This movement is followed by a scherzo, but one with bitter humor in the key of F sharp major. It is a fast, waltz-like whirl of a movement. The B flat minor Largo third movement opens with large block chords from the piano. This chorale theme becomes the ostinato bass of a passacaglia, repeated a total of six times, while the violin and cello are again in canon with a sombre, lamenting melody full of anguished, minor second dissonances between the two parts. This moves immediately into the final Allegretto, again in E minor. Here the Jewish figurations -- the Dorian mode with an augmented fourth and the iambic rhythms -- are used in a macabre dance that is contrasted against a stern march and five-beat climbs up and down the scale. The strings frequently play pizzicato to add to the sharpness of the dance. The movement ends as the dance gives way to the chorale of the Largo, but this time ending in the more comforting key of E major.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Andante - Moderato
    2. Allegro con brio
    3. Largo
    4. Allegretto

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Melodiya MELCD 1002451
    2016 Oberlin Music OC 1601
    2016 Praga PRD 250319
    2016 Decca
    2016 Decca 4789382
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon B002364402
    2015 Nimbus NI 5917
    2015 Quartz QTZ 2106
    2014 Supraphon SU 41452
    2014 Challenge Classics CC 72615
    2014 Telos TLS 197
    2014 Farao Classics B 108083
    2013 Entertainment Group 14185
    2012 Entertainment Group 4058
    2012 Atoll ACD 209
    2012 Claudio / Claudio Records CR 58906
    2012 Claudio / Claudio Records CR 58902
    2012 Challenge Classics CC 72535
    2012 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler 12045
    2011 Harmonia Mundi 501825
    2011 Stradivarius STR 33861
    2011 Analekta AN 295108
    2011 Con Brio 21048
    2011 Con Brio 21045
    2011 Hyperion CDA 67834
    2011 Aliud Records ACDHN 0132
    2011 CAvi-music AVI 8553224
    2010 BIS 1482
    2010 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 5099968766
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 4778847
    2009 Sony Classical 752307
    2009 MSR Classics 1319
    2009 Tudor Records 7138
    2009 Decca
    2009 Decca 4782100
    2008 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2008 Claves 2720
    2008 Intim Musik 104
    2008 Stradivarius 33706
    2008 CAvi-music 8553100
    2007 Melodiya 1000980
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93423
    2007 Doremi Records DHR7921/5
    2007 Alto 1005
    2007 Brilliant Classics 8128
    2007 Virgin Classics 391337
    2007 Elatus
    2007 Rhino
    2007 Koch International Classics 7720
    2007 Fuga Libera 525
    2007 Coviello Classics 50502
    2007 Cascavelle 3104
    2006 Warner Classics
    2006 Decca 475 7425DC5
    2006 Decca
    2006 Tall Poppies 52
    2006 Warner Music 62514
    2006 Claves 502605
    2006 Hyperion 44091
    2006 Warner Classics 63263
    2005 MSR Classics 1103
    2005 Parlophone
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 76871
    2005 Warner Classics 61937
    2005 Haenssler / Hänssler Classic 98491
    2005 Brilliant 7535
    2005 Virgin 59312
    2004 Bridge 9147
    2004 Harmonia Mundi HMC90 1825
    2004 Alpha Productions 055
    2004 Symposium 1314
    2004 Hyperion 67158
    2003 Philips 000150602
    2002 Cambria 1130
    2002 Doremi Records 6605
    2001 Musicians Showcase 1046
    2001 Daphne 1016
    2001 Teldec 857387820
    2000 Centaur Records 2443
    2000 RS 176
    2000 Angel Records 61760
    2000 Multisonic 310105
    2000 Gagliano 303
    2000 Hungaroton 31780
    2000 Eclectra 2046
    2000 MMC Recordings 2058
    2000 Le Chant du Monde PR7254054
    2000 Le Chant du Monde RUS7288088
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 56674
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 459326
    1999 BBC Music 4024
    1999 Simax 1147
    1998 EMI Classics 56673
    1998 Channel Classics 13098
    1998 Nimbus 5572
    1997 Doremi Records 7701
    1997 Koch Discover International 920356
    1997 Chandos 9526
    1997 Naxos 553297
    1997 Triton 17011
    1997 Arabesque 6698
    1997 Erato 063017875
    1996 Live Classics 172
    1996 Arizona Chamber 94101
    1995 XLNT Music 18003
    1995 Altarus 9033
    1995 Caprice Records 21348
    1994 BIS 26
    1994 Le Chant du Monde 288088
    1991 Philips 432079
    1988 CBS Records 44664
    1984 Chandos 8342
    Alaria
    Analog Arts
    Doremi Records 7787
    LYS 369/370
    Arte 0022
    Brilliant Classics 93423/4
    Decca 475 6712DF2
    One-Eleven 92010
    Russian Compact Disc (RCD) 10401
    Officina Della Musica 1016
    Tria 3860
    Revelation Records 70006
    Analekta 29854
    Brilliant 8128/20
    Warner Music
    Warner Music
    Northeastern 245
    Praga 254054
    Mastersound 33
    Fidelio 8843
    Kontrapunkt 32131
    Channel Classics 9218
    ATMA Classique 22271