Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Trio in A minor, Great i am piano pdf. 50, was written in Rome between December 1881 and late January 1882. It is subtitled In memory of a great artist, in reference to Nikolai Rubinstein, his close friend and mentor, who had died on 23 March 1881. It is scored for piano, violin, and cello.
The work’s first version was completed by late January 1882. Private performances were held in March and April. The work underwent considerable revision before its premiere on 30 October at a quartet concert of the Russian Musical Society in Moscow.
The pezzo is a darkly brooding and rather conventional romantic first movement with a beautiful opening cello solo with a theme that returns for a final funeral march. The second movement is rather more unusual: it opens with an almost classical melody, much like Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello, and then proceeds with an assured set of variations, also like the Rococo Variations. After working itself into more and more ecstatic heights culminating with the final variation, it suddenly goes through a surprising modulation to the original minor key, and the theme from the first movement returns with an even greater gravity, and the entire piece concludes with yet another death march. The work, and the second movement in particular, is arguably the most difficult piece Tchaikovsky wrote for piano, whether solo, with orchestra, or in a chamber group.