In her first chamber music album Claire Huangci, together with Solenne Païdassi (violin), Adrien Boisseau (viola) and Tristan Cornut (cello), devotes herself to two works by Maurice Ravel and Ernest Chausson.
If you were to look for a link between Maurice Ravel and Ernest Chausson, there would first emerge the tragic fact that serious traffic accidents played a role in the lives of both composers. Ravel was unable to compose after a car crash. Chausson died at a mere 44 years of age due to a cycling accident, leaving a modest body of work. Like Ravel, Chausson never won the coveted Prix de Rome, and he consequently turned his back on the Paris Conservatoire.
Ravel’s Piano Trio is characterized by its complex, rhythmic structures and mystical ambiguity. “It is a cornerstone of the piano trio repertoire”, says Claire Huangci. “We always had this trio in the back of our minds, but first turned to other repertoire until we felt we were ready for it,” she explains her approach. “Precisely at times of crisis, a work like this written at the start of World War I can be seen as a cry for help.” The huge demands the work makes on all the performers derive from the complexity of the individual parts as well as the coordination required to play it together. “This work requires the musicians to tease out every fibre of the textures and layers,” says Huangci. “It’s a quirky piece with many challenges, and we all have to give it 150 per cent.” The piano and two stringed instruments complement each other in often varying, very extreme registers.”
Ernest Chausson’s Piano Quartet in A major, op. 30 is intended to provide a counterweight. “We were looking for a counterpart to the Ravel Trio. The trio is so intensive and dark – we wanted to find something that would provide a positive flavour. When we discovered the quartet we knew straight away that we had found the right piece – we just needed a viola.” So they engaged Adrien Boisseau.”
As the debut album of Trio Machiavelli and Adrien Bosseau as support for Chausson, this album is a calling card that is worth seeing. The ensemble overcomes emotional distances and combines two different works in one br