Tchaikovsky – Juon
Boulanger Trio

Paul Juon
Tone Poem for Piano, Violin and Cello Op. 70 (1918/1928)

Pjotr Ilych Tchaikowsky
Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano in A Minor, Op. 50 (1881/82)
I Pezzo elegiaco

II – Tema

II – Var. VI Tempo di Valse

…..What the members of the Boulanger Trio find particularly fascinating about Litaniae is “the way Juon employs a piano trio setting to create innovative timbres, treating the instruments quite differently than other composers: for instance, the passages in which the strings play double stops and sound like an orchestra, or when he just lets the piano “sound” in its upper register. ………
In Juon’s piano trio”, as the members of the Boulanger Trio find, “we plunge into the most profound recesses of the soul. Everything acquires existential significance. This work truly captivates us: so much occurs within such brief moments”. This is where our performers find a bridge that connects Juon’s kaleidoscopic tone poem with Pjotr Tchaikovsky’s colossal Piano Trio, op. 50, a musical epitaph for pianist and conductor Nikolai Rubinstein, who had been Tchaikovsky’s friend and mentor. Rubinstein had ensured that the young Tchaikovsky was allowed to enter the newly founded Moscow Conservatory while taking him up as a resident in his own home. “He looked after my every need like a child’s nurse”, Tchaikovsky wrote to his family in Saint Petersburg. Rubinstein not only made sure that Tchaikovsky wore appropriately elegant clothing, but he took him to the opera and to concerts while introducing him to his circle of colleagues and friends, playing out his connections to draw their attention to his protégé’s compositions. His unexpected passing in 1881, when he was only 45, must have profoundly shattered the young Tchaikovsky, who dedicated the only piano trio he ever wrote to his late friend, adding the subtitle À la mémoire d’un grand artiste.
(Excerpt of the booklet)

03_BT_Cover Schuen

Andrè Schuen
Boulanger Trio

An die ferne Geliebte


Come fill, fill, my good fellow

On the massacre of Glencoe

Let brain spinning Swains


CD of the month August
BR Klassik, 01.08.2017
Gino Thanner

Really? Should this Beethoven suddenly have composed songs of which one has never heard of anything, and now also in English?!
Yes, indeed! But these songs are by no means just heartbreak. For some songs it could certainly turn well on an Irish dance floor. Those who quickly become dizzy can enjoy two instrumental versions of songs with the Boulanger Trio.
All right! Then Beethoven just made a holiday in Scotland and picked up texts and melodies there. But did he compose them in such a way that they would still be recognized? If one believes native Scots, who sat in the audience at a concert by Andrè Schuen in Berlin, then yes. They would have felt very much at home. Well then, congratulations, Mr. Beethoven and Mr. Schuen!


Chamber Music by Friedrich Cerha

Fünf Sätze für Klaviertrio (2007)

Rhapsodie für Violine und Klavier (2001)

Drei Stücke für Violoncello und Klavier (2013)

6 Inventionen für Violine und Violoncello (2005/06)

Nachtstück, aus: Trio für Violine, Violoncello und Klavier (2005)

BR Klassik, 15/3/2016

Helmut Rohm

Radio Feature
Cover Solitaires


Mel Bonis, Soir et Matin Op. 76

Edvard Grieg, Andante con moto

Ernest Bloch, Three Nocturnes

Georges Enescu, Sérénade lointaine

Lili Boulanger, D’un soir triste & D’un matin de printemps

Arvo Pärt, Mozart-Adagio

Josef Suk, Elegie op. 23

Franz Schubert, Adagio in E flat major D 897

Hans Werner Henze, Adagio adagio


“The title ‘Solitaires’ evokes the singularity of each work on this CD; each of these works needs to be polished like a diamond”, as Karla Haltenwanger, the pianist of the Boulanger Trio, remarks. Violinist Birgit Erz adds: “We want to shed new light on the piano trio genre by focusing on small, concentrated forms. In such short pieces, everything needs to be immediately in place: the tuning, the attitude, the timbre, from the very first second!”
(from the line notes by Cornelia de Reese)

Beethoven, Kakadu & Erzherzog
Pizzicato Supersonic

Ludwig van Beethoven, Trio in G major Op. 121a, “Kakadu Variations”

Ludwig van Beethoven, Trio Movement in B flat major WoO 39

Ludwig van Beethoven, Trio in B flat major Op. 97 „Archduke“

PIZZICATO, 16/9/2014

Alain Steffen

“With this CD, the Boulanger Trio once again confirms that it is among the best ensembles of this genre at the moment. [...] The Boulanger Trio is skilled in combining the Beethoven-form and their innovative ideas and challenging language with musical character, lightness and dynamic playing that is rich in ‘trialogue.’ The musical flow is urgent but still allows the musicians time to pause for breath in the slow passages. The result is three very compact and varied interpretations that are full of suspense, and which present the highest level in terms of technique.

hr2 Klassikzeit, 28/8/2014

Natascha Pflaumbaum

“They are one of the few piano trios worldwide, and virtually unrivalled at that. [...] What is so pleasing about the musicians’ ensemble playing is the breathtaking beauty, clarity [and] balance of it [...]: no one is breaking away, rather trying to surpass on elegant unobtrusiveness. These three know each other and listen to one another, one can feel that in the way they always allow each other space. In this way, lively but never impulsive dialogue is indeed created in a very intimate setting. That is exactly where the fascination lies!”

pizzicato, December 2012

Alain Steffen

“With the two trios by Dmitri Shostakovich and Peteris Vasks’ trio ‘Episodi e Canto perpetuo’, the three ladies of the Boulanger Trio have finally played themselves to the pinnacle of international trio ensembles. Above all, it is the intrinsic harmonious tuning and perfect trialogue that distinguishes the Boulanger Trio as performers. Each part is equal and the musicians always try to show off their instruments as the composer intended and in doing so, give the work a certain contouring. (…) The Boulanger Trio, which regularly collaborates with Vasks, is therefore very familiar with his music. One can feel the security that the musicians radiate throughout their playing at every instant. The music sounds as if of its own volition, sounds combine very naturally and honestly, melodies develop, worlds open, in order to become what we call music in this wonderful universe. And with this in mind, the Boulanger Trio is the transmitter of world class. A very intensive CD full of wonderful moments, played by a trio to whom the mystery of music is very important.”

Crescendo,  12/10/2012

Michaela Schnabel

“With their fourth CD “Canto perpetuo” the three exceptional musicians present music that touches the soul deeply. [...] “Canto perpetuo” is pure life, despite all the dissonances it is wonderfully poetic.”

rbb Kulturradio,  7/11/2012

Bernhard Schrammek

“The Boulanger Trio demonstrates first-class playing here: during the six episodes, the musicians are brimful of energy and power, before passing into a truly heavenly version of “Canto perpetuo”. Their ensemble playing is perfect, even the smallest nuances in dynamic and style are synchronised excellently. The Boulanger Trio interprets Shostakovich’s two piano trios with the same meticulousness.”


Johannes Brahms
Trio in c minor op.101
I Allegro energico

II Presto non assai

III Andante grazioso

IV Allegro molto

Franz Liszt

Arnold Schönberg
Verklärte Nacht (arr. Eduard Steuermann)

pizzicato, December 2012

Alain Steffen

“This is not merely a wonderful CD but one of the best chamber music recordings of the past months! The musical idiom which the Boulanger Trio has chosen for these three works by Brahms, Liszt and Schönberg, is touching. In each of the three very contrasting pieces they manage to surprise the listener with unfamiliar sound constellations. Spontaneously assembled star trios often excel in individual performances and intriguing dialogues but an ensemble such as the Boulanger Trio certainly has an edge over such competition. Technically they are well up there with the stars, their brilliant musicianship speaks for itself and so does the lively interaction between the trio partners, which renders their performance so expressive at all times.”

Fono Forum, March 2012

“Have we ever heard our chubby Brahms so light-footed before? With ample pedal and airy bows the Boulanger Trio applies itself to his C-Minor Piano Trio from 1886, gliding almost gracefully through its outraged take-off. (…) Karla Haltenwanger needs long arms to span the range between second cello and second violin. Yet along with her trio partners she manages to create an emotional maelstrom which pulls us right into Schönberg´s Night and will not easily let go again. Far from lacking anything, this version rather seems to add new richness to the piece.”


Camille Saint-Saëns
Trio No.2 in e minor op.92
Allegro non troppo


Andante con moto

Grazioso, poco allegro


Gabriel Fauré
Trio in d minor op.120
Allegro ma non troppo


Allegro vivo

Lili Boulanger,
D’un soir triste & D’un matin de printemps


Clara Schumann
Trio in g minor Op.17
Allegro moderato

Scherzo: Tempo di menuetto




Robert Schumann
Trio in g minor Op. 110
Bewegt, doch nicht zu rasch

Ziemlich langsam


Kräftig, mit Humor

Wolfgang Rihm 
Fremde Szene III