I - Allegro Agitato

II - Andante Tranquillo

October 27, 2010
Performance in Warsaw

Jakub Jakowicz in conversation after October 27, 2010 performance

Karol Marianowski in conversation after October 27, 2010 performance

6th Krakow Festival of Polish Music, November 6, 2010

www.polskamuza.eu review by Malgorzata Czech (in Polish)

Warsaw - August 2015


Trio Notturno (1978) - Opus 6
This webpage provides information about the André Tchaikowsky Trio Notturno (1978) - Opus 6. This includes performances, music links (as *.mp3 files) and then text that lists all known details regarding this composition from the book, The Other Tchaikowsky - A Biographical Sketch of André Tchaikowsky.

(2019) Trio Notturno in Concert
From the New Zealand School of Muisc is a live recording of the Trio Notturno. On piano, Gabriela Glapska, the excellent Polish pianist who is playing this concert as part of her PhD requiements. The other players are Monique Lapins, Violin, and Ken Ichinose, Cello. This performance was repeated on November 17, 2019 as part of a special musical event celebrating 75th anniversary of The Polish Children of Pahiatua, New Zealand.
[Bonus with the same performers: Panufnik, Trio Opus 1 -and- Shostakovich, Trio No. 2]

(2019) Trio Notturno now on music CD
The Polish trio, Wajnberg, has announced their release of Accord ACD 247-2 CD that features the Trio Notturno, Opus 6. The performers are: Piotr Salajczyk - Piano; Szymon Krzeszowiec - Violin; and Arkadiusz Dobrowolski - Cello. The trio has posted a brief YouTube video in support of the CD release - Click Here. This CD may be purchased on the Amazon.com website - Click Here. A review of the Trio Notturno performance appears on the Art Music Lounge website - Click Here, which reads, in part, "This is an excellent recital, well-planned and fascinating. Would that more modern-day classical instrumentalists and chamber groups played such interesting and emotionally charged programs!" For more information about the CD, the music and the performers, Click Here and then Booklet Preview. For a review of the CD by Stephen Greenbank for MusicWeb International, Click Here.

Sample 1 - Allegro Agitato ed Impetuoso
On YouTube - Click Here

Sample 2 - Andante Tranquillo
On YouTube - Click Here

(2018) Trio Notturno in Concert
The September 2018 concerts of the Music Salon of the Polish Radio Choir at the Villa Decius included a performance of the Trio Notturno on September 23, 2018, at 5 pm. The performers were Maciej Suszycki - violin, Karol Marianowski - cello, and Maciej Grzybowski - piano.

(2016) Trio Notturno in Concert
As part of the Tansman Festival 2016, the Weinberg Piano Trio played the Trio Notturno on November 22, 2016 at the Lodz Museum. The performers were Szymon Krzeszowiec - violin, Arkadiusz Dobrowolski - cello, and Piotr Salajczyk - piano.

(2015) Trio Notturno in Concert
The Uniwersytet Muzyczny Fryderyka Chopina in Warsaw presented a concert on October 26, 2015 that featured the Andrzej Czajkowski composition, Trio Notturno. The performers were pianist Maciej Grzybowski, violinist Jakub Jakowicz, and cellist Piotr Hausenplas. Click Here for the program.

(2015) Trio Notturno at the Chopin and his Europe Music Festival
The Trio Notturno was featured as part of the 2015 Chopin and his Europe Music Festival in Warsaw, Poland. The concert date was August 18, 2015 with performers:

Piano - Maciej Grzybowski
Violin - Jakub Jakowicz
Cello - Karol Marianowski

Images from the concert and program appear below, along with music samples from the concert.

Trio Notturno - Complete / 00_op6_trio_waw_aug.mp3
Trio Notturno - 1st Mvnt / 01_op6_trio_waw_aug.mp3
Trio Notturno - 2nd Mvnt / 02_op6_trio_waw_aug.mp3

(2015) Trio Notturno performance in Vienna
Famed ensemble the Altenberg Trio will be performing at the Musikverein, Brahms Hall on 17 March 2015, where they will present works by Joseph Haydn, André Tchaikowsky, Franz Schubert and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Click Here for additional information. The Altenberg Trio preformed the Trio Notturno previously in Bregenz, Austria. For more information on this performance from July 2013, Click Here.

(2014) Trio Notturno and the Arts @ Trinity
The same performers for the Leeds Symposium of November 2013 will once again play the Trio Notturno, this time as part of the Arts @ Trinity concert series. The date is December 5, 2014 and further information may be found on the Trinty website (Click Here)


Nico de Villiers

Alfia Nakipbekova

Sebastian Müller

(2014) Trio Notturno and the "Chamber Music with Piano" Conference
A featured work performed at the "Chamber Music with Piano" conference on April 6, 2014, was the
Trio Notturno. The performers were Maciej Grzybowski piano, Aleksandra Kwiatkowska violin, and Filip Syska cello. Kwiatkowska and Syska are students at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.


Aleksandra Kwiatkowska

Filip Syska

(2013) The Trio and the Leeds Symposium and Concert
André's biographer, Dr. Anastasia Belina-Johnson, who is also a Head of Classical Music department at Leeds College of Music and a member of LUCOS (Leeds University Centre for Opera Studies), organized a concert on André Tchaikowsky's birthday (November 1st, 2013) dedicated to his compositions (he would have been 78 years old). The Trio Notturno Opus 6 was performed by Nico de Villiers piano, Alfia Nakipbekova cello, and Sebastian Müller violin at a symposium and concert honoring the 78th birthday of André Tchaikowsky on November 1st, 2013. Click Here to learn more about this symposium and concert. Click Here (pdf) to read Nico de Villers' comments on André Tchaikowsky.

Nico de Villiers

Alfia Nakipbekova

Sebastian Müller

(2010) The Trio and the Polish Celebration Performances
While other performances have taken place in Poland featuring Maciej Grzybowski (piano), Marcin Suszycki (violin), and Karol Marianowski (cello), two special performances celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the birth of André Tchaikowsky (Andrzej Czajkowski - November 1, 1935) took place in October (Warsaw) and November (Krakow) 2010. For these performances, Jakub Jakowicz was violinist.

Of the November 6, 2010 concert, Malgorzata Czech wrote for www.polskamuza.eu:

Andrzej Czajkowski music was his fate - full of pain and loneliness. It is also music very well thoughtout and composed with mathematical precision. Polyphony is a dominant texture of this music of pain and loneliness, which could tear apart the soul of the listener, plus it put enormous technical requirements on the performers. Yesterdays monographic concert at the Jagiellonian University’s Collegium Novum brought a level of performance equal to the level of Andrzej Czajkowski's composing skills - Masterful.

These wonderful artists of the younger generation, composed of Jakub Jakowicz (violin), Karol Marianowski (cello) [and Pianist Maciej Grzybowski] played the Trio Notturno cleanly with precision and with perfect synchronization, all within a mutual sense of spontaneity.

Jakub Jakowicz

Karol Marianowski

Maciej Grzybowski

(2013) Music/MP3

One of the 2013 Bregenz Festival "KAZ" concerts featured the playing of André's Trio Notturno by the Altenberg Trio (website) in Bregenz, Austria on July 30, 2013. The setting was at the stunning Kunsthaus Bregenz. Click Here for a review (Internet link) or Click Here for a review (PDF File), both of which are in German.

Altenberg Trio - Christopher Hinterhuber, Piano - Amiram Ganz, Violin - Christoph Stradner, Cello

Trio Notturno - Complete / 00_op6_trio_altenberg.mp3
Trio Notturno - 1st Mvnt / 01_op6_trio_1st_altenberg.mp3
Trio Notturno - 2nd Mvnt / 02_op6_trio_2nd_altenberg.mp3

YouTube Link for a sample of 2nd Movement - Click Here

(2004) Music/MP3 [Webmaster "Best Recording" Pick]
The occasion for this trio performance was the 7th Polish Radio Music Festival from May 18, 2004. The concert took place at the Polish Radio "Szymanowski Hall."

Festival Trio - Maciej Grzybowski, Piano - Marcin Suszycki, Violin - Karol Marianowski, Cello

Trio Notturno - Complete / 00_op6_trio_complete_2004.mp3
Trio Notturno - 1st Mvnt / 01_op6_trio_1st_2004.mp3
Trio Notturno - 2nd Mvnt / 02_op6_trio_2nd_2004.mp3

(1985) Music/MP3 (1985)
The Capricorn Ensemble performance is from a Wigmore Hall performance on November 11, 1985 as part of the Josef Weinberger Centenary Concert Series.

Capricorn Ensemble - Julian Jacobson, Piano - Elisabeth Perry, Violin - Timothy Mason, Cello

Trio Notturno - Complete / 00_op6_trio_capricorn.mp3
Trio Notturno - 1st Mvnt / 01_op6_trio_1st_capricorn.mp3
Trio Notturno - 2nd Mvnt / 02_op6_trio_2nd_capricorn.mp3

(1982) Music/MP3
The trio was dedicated to the musicians in this recording. The performance is from the July 4, 1982 Cheltenham Festival.
Another performance by Frankl-Pauk-Kirshbaum took place at the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., Dec. 13, 1985 (Click Here for information).

"A Study in Contrast" program included a segment about the Trio Notturno. For the entire "A Study in Contrast" program, see the Miscellaneous link above. Voices for the following: David Owen Norris, Peter Cropper, Judy Arnold, Stephen Kovacevich, Terry Harrison, André Tchaikowsky.

Frankl/Pauk/Kirshbaum Trio
Peter Frankl (piano), Gyorgy Pauk (violin) and Ralph Kirshbaum (cello)

A Study in Contrast / contrast_trio.mp3

November 1, 1985 Introduction / 00_op6_trio_bbc_intro.mp3

Trio Notturno - Complete / 00_op6_trio_frankl.mp3
Trio Notturno - 1st Mvnt / 01_op6_trio_1st_frankl.mp3
Trio Notturno - 2nd Mvnt /02_op6_trio_2nd_frankl.mp3

This performance is on YouTube. Click Here (opens new window)

Music Publisher
This work is published by Josef Weinberger and appears in their catalog of André Tchaikowsky published works. Click Here for a PDF copy of the André Tchaikowsky Weinberger catalog.

From the biography The Other Tchaikowsky
André was not to hear the world premiere of his Trio Notturno, which was given just nine days after his death. Peter Frankl, as the pianist in the Frankl-Pauk-Kirshbaum Trio, wanted something for his ensemble, and in 1976 asked André for a composition. The full name of the work came from an exchange of letters with Terry Harrison. André wrote on April 29, 1976:

This summer I shall at last try to combine both activities: get up late, breakfast at lunchtime, practise right through the afternoon, walk out in time to catch the sunset, then compose at night, till 1 or so. Do you approve of the scheme? Will it work?

Terry replied on May 10, 1976; I think if your next piece is going to be called, 'Notturno,' then your summer schedule sounds fine."

So the name "Trio Notturno" was given to an as yet non-existent composition. André wasn't sure he wanted to compose the Trio, and worse, it had a deadline: 1978. In a letter to a close friend, André described the history of his trio:

I have promised to tell you the story of my piano trio, but the chaos of the AFH [André's acronym representing Christmas, to him the Annual Festival of Hypocrisy] has prevented me from doing virtually anything I wanted while compelling me to do or to fake most of the things I detest. Now I realize why people really enjoy New Year's -- it's a direly needed relief from the preceding collective convulsion. Anyway, here goes.

For several years Peter Frankl had kept at me to write a trio for him, Gy6rgy, and Ralph. And having not a scrap of an idea for it and precious little inclination to write anything to order, I kept saying, "I'm trying!," which seemed vague enough to keep me safe. I had reckoned without the Hungarian spirit.

In summer of 1977 Peter and Annie came down to lunch, praised the food and took every joke seriously, and I felt the occasion was quite a success. That impression changed when Peter asked to see how I was doing with the trio:

"Surely after all this trying you must have something to show me?"

"Of course I have," I lied, "but no one but myself could possibly read my writing."

“Well, then, play it to us.”

Seeing no way out, I played Jessica's aria from "The Merchant," which I had just written. Peter was very impressed: "It's just right for us. Marvelous." Indeed, I'd have given a lot to hear them sing it.

Then last January [1978] my second string quartet was premiered in Misha Donat's Smith Square series. Peter rang him at once: "Misha, if you liked André's quartet, I can assure you that his trio is even better. I heard it myself." Misha gave them a date for the first performance, February 19, 1979.

It was my turn to grab the phone: "Misha, my piano trio is quite wonderful. It has every virtue, except existence. Such perfection is too good for this world."

Misha was not amused: "Well, you better write it now. I've placed it and publicized it, and if it doesn't come off, I shall lose face."

“What about my face? I’ve been looking everywhere.”

“Try manuscript paper.”

So I tried, grumbling at having to shove the Merchant aside. By late August, the trio was ready. I told Peter. "Marvelous." But he confided in Radu that he was really extremely embarrassed: "You see, Gyorgy and Ralph don't know that I've asked André to write this trio, and it may be difficult to persuade them to learn it." Now, I'm not supposed to know this, or Radu would be on the spot. But I'm greatly interested to see how our Machiavelli gets himself out of this. Or the others in. At least Misha has postponed the date.

André guessed right: Peter was all for the trio, but Gyorgy and Ralph were hesitant. They wanted to wait for the right venue and it wouldn't be at St. John's, Smith Square, in February 1979. All André's speed to produce the composition had been needless; yet, it demonstrated that the absence of his usual agonizing punctilliousness and the presence of more spontaneity gave a certain luster to the trio that was lacking in his more carefully written compositions. The result was André's most often-played composition.

The inspiration for the form of the Trio came from Hans Keller, to whom the Trio was dedicated, as André relates in his own program notes:

Trio Notturno - Opus 6

Some years ago Hans Keller gave a lecture at Dartington about the basic incompatibility of piano and strings. Classical harmony, he explained, used to bridge the gap. With the decline of tonality it became all but impossible to blend the disparate sounds. "All right, Hans," I said, "if ever I write anything for piano and strings it shall be dedicated to you."

And so it is. When Peter Frankl asked me to write for his trio, I naturally remembered Hans Keller's warning -- or challenge -- and my promise. I decided to tackle the problem head on by emphasising the disparity of the instruments. This in turn led me to conceive the whole work as a study in contrast, and I did all I could to increase the polarity of the two movements.

Thus the Allegro is a movement of extreme rhythmic irregularity, full of short abrupt phrases and swift changes of register, with a preference for the dark low notes of the piano, while the Andante is a calm lyrical movement without a single change of metre, full of flowing melodic lines and clear, crystalline harmonies. And, lest the contrast thus attained prove too "pat," I wrote an agitated central section, culminating in the climax of the entire work and followed by a sudden silence, a shortened recapitulation and a long, static, reminiscent coda. It is as if Florestan had briefly invaded Eusebius' territory, before being finally subdued. [A reference to Robert Schumann's two opposing literary personalities.]

The first official performance of the trio did not take place until July 4, 1982 at the Cheltenham Festival, under circumstances that none could have predicted. For The Daily Telegraph, Peter Stadlen wrote on July 6:

The audience stood in silence after the first public performance of "Trio Notturno" at the Town Hall, Cheltenham, to honour the memory of the composer André Tchaikowsky, who died last week. In fact, Peter Frankl, piano, Gyorgy Pauk, violin, and Ralph Kirshbaum, cello, had already played the work at the funeral of the 46-year-old pianist-composer, Polish-born and not related to his Russian namesake.

The Trio is dedicated to Hans Keller, who had insisted that it was impossible to blend the disparate sounds of piano and strings in atonal music. Certainly Tchaikowsky made his point with the delicately wrought textures of the Trio, an affecting piece and not only because it has turned out to be his own requiem, as did Mozart's.

William Mann wrote for The Times:

Alarmingly Brilliant Feat of the Imagination

The premiere was also, alas, a farewell in the case of the Trio Notturno by André Tchaikowsky, who died just over a week before its first performance on Sunday night. The composer, no relation to his great Russian namesake, was Polish born, took British citizenship and was much admired here as a pianist. He wrote the work expressly for the admirable piano trio of Peter Frankl, Gy6rgy Pauk, and Ralph Kirshbaum, who dedicated their concert to his memory.

Tchaikowsky gave them a tough assignment. Having pledged himself to balance anew the unwieldy, sometimes inequitable, partnership of violin and cello with modern grand piano, he proposed a linear basic texture, its outlines ornate, almost baroque, rich in harmonic density, passionately argumentative in expression. The two abruptly contrasted movements challenge instrumental virtuosity at every turn; they might have sounded simply hard going, but were revealed, with formidable cogency, as invigorating to play, and listen to, especially in the rapid middle section of the second movement, an alarmingly brilliant feat of imagination.

André Tchaikowsky was one of the nicest musicians you could hope to meet, and not the least eccentric. [A minority opinion] A pianist by reputation, he was an increasingly ambitious composer and had all but completed a full-length "The Merchant Of Venice" opera when he died just over a week ago. Another recent composition was a Trio Notturno, commissioned by Gy6rgy Pauk, Ralph Kirshbaum and Peter Frankl for a first performance at the Cheltenham Festival in a concert which, in the unhappy circumstances, became a memorial to the composer.

Textural considerations are paramount in the Trio Notturno. It was inspired by an allegation (from the ever-provocative Hans Keller, to whom the work is dedicated) that piano and strings are basically incompatible. André Tchaikowsky approached the problem in much the same way as Bartok did in the two mature violin sonatas, emphasising the differences rather than attempting to effect a compromise.

The Trio Notturno is thus not the most comfortable work written for violin, cello and piano. It is, however, despite its echoes of Bartok, one of the most original and personal of its kind. The silence observed by the audience at the end --although the composer himself might have preferred applause to reward an admirably dedicated first performance -- was an appropriate reaction to a work of such integrity.

When the Trio Notturno was played in London in December 1982, Desmond Shawe-Taylor wrote for The Sunday Times on December 16:

The Frankl/Pauk/Kirshbaum Piano Trio gave the first London performance of the André Tchaikowsky "Trio Notturno" which they had introduced at Cheltenham last July. A second hearing confirmed my impression that the notable pianist was also a composer of real promise, perhaps achievement, although the sharp contrast between the writing for strings and keyboard intended as a riposte to the assertion of Hans Keller (dedicatee of the work) that modern harmony had rendered them incompatible -- was less extreme than he must have intended.

The Trio Notturno is firmly placed in the Frankl/Pauk/Kirshbaum repertoire and they have played the trio worldwide from Israel to Australia to America. Other trios have performed the work in concert including violinist Daniel Phillips, cellist Carter Brey and pianist Edward Auer at the Sante Fe Chamber Music Festival on August 9, 1983, and by the Capricorn Ensemble on November 10, 1985 at Wigmore Hall in London. The Frankl/Pauk/Kirshbaum US Library of Congress performance on December 13, 1985, was broadcast on National Public Radio. The Trio Notturno was published by Josef Weinberger in 1982.