DVOŘÁK: „In 1876, Dvořák jotted down the Trio in G Minor, op. 26, in a mere 16 days. By that time, some of his masterpieces, including the Moravian Duets and the Stabat Mater, were starting to gain wider recognition – but the encounter with Brahms, which would stabilize him as an artist and clarify his musical tendencies, only took place the following year. Thus, many passages in this trio seem to be groping for direction: as Dvořák specialist John Clapham once remarked, they are still musically “insecure”. Still, certain traits in this trio already seem to reveal Dvořák’s profound affinity with Brahms on an instinctive level. Gradually emerging from a series of brief motifs, the first movement’s main theme is subjected to thematic treatment throughout. This movement is also the longest, lasting a total of twelve minutes. Its generally gloomy, sombre mood does not yet reflect the true personal style of he who would soon write the Slavonic Dances. Notwithstanding, certain cello cantilenas in the slow movement and towards the end of the sombre, violent scherzo offer a foretaste of the great melodic gifts that Dvořák would soon reveal to the world.
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