Leonidas Kavakos, Gautier Capuçon and Yuja Wang perform Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky

Verbier Festival 2022

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Leonidas Kavakos — Violinist

Gautier Capuçon — Cellist

Yuja Wang — Pianist

Program notes

One of the many reasons classical fans are drawn to the Verbier Festival is its incredible chamber music supergroups, and the 2022 edition is no exception! Catch an unbelievable trio of star virtuosos—Gautier Capuçon, Yuja Wang, and Leonidas Kavakos—in a gorgeous and dramatic program, featuring poignant piano trios by Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky!

Composed during World War II, Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor was dedicated to his good friend and brilliant musicologist, Ivan Sollertinsky, who died unexpectedly at the age of 41. The work’s four movements reflect the devastating circumstances of the time and the intense suffering of the Russian Jewish population during the war. Starting with a striking, mournful melody played by an unaccompanied cello, the composition’s tone remains bleak and highly dissonant throughout—from the frenzied rhythms of the second movement to the dark “Dance of Death” of the finale.

Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A Minor was subtitled À la mémoire d'un grand artiste, referring to Nikolai Rubinstein—his mentor and close friend—who died from turberculosis aged 45. In spite of Tchaikovsky’s initial reluctance to compose a piano trio and his “antipathy for this combination of instruments”, he successfully finished it and a private performance was held at the Moscow Conservatory on the first anniversary of Rubinstein’s death. Melancholy, tumultuous, and deeply moving, the trio is an original masterpiece, indisputably one of the finest works of the composer’s chamber music collection.

Photo: Gautier Capuçon, Yuja Wang, Leonidas Kavakos © Aline Paley

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