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Третьяковская галерея
Vivarte Online / Second part
at the State Tretyakov Gallery
Сирень. М.А. Врубель (12.jpg

Moving around the Vrubel hall, we come to the Lilac painting.  The riot of colors and rhythm, conveyed by the artist's enchanted gaze, find their continuation in music.

“Vrubel was inspired by what he saw around him, nature was very important to him. Once, when he was in the south of Russia, in the Chernigov province, on the Ivanovsky farm, where the artist Nikolai Ge had worked a few years before him, he was inspired by the flowering of the May lilac. Incredible magic captured Vrubel, and he develops a color surface, texture, he is excited by the movement of the brush, stroke, complex combinations of purple, lilac, blue, greenish.

M. Vrubel, Lilac (1900)

Alexander Blok greatly appreciated the work of Vrubel, especially appreciated the great colorist in him. In Vrubel's canvases, he singled out a blue-lilac development of color, borrowed from the cosmos, according to Blok's expression. He found in his paintings something primordial and defined them as unearthly and cosmic. And indeed, Vrubel had an incredible talent for transforming the real world into a fantasy one. The girl, who is near the lilac bush, which we do not immediately notice, on the one hand appears to be a completely living person, and on the other hand, peering, we understand that this may be some kind of fantastic creature ...  

The work of Mikhail Vrubel - bright, expressive, mysterious, enchanting - still causes a lot of discussions, disputes, disagreements. Even in his youth, Vrubel began to search for new plastic 

Vincent van Gogh, The Bush (1889)

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means, moving towards modernity and symbolism. His creative quest turns out to be involuntarily parallel to the quest of French Post-Impressionist artists. And next to his name, the names of Cezanne, Van Gogh and many other masters are remembered ... ”(Tatyana Yudenkova, art critic, employee of the Tretyakov Gallery)

In total, Vrubel performed two canvases dedicated to lilacs. Both of them were left unfinished. The musical part of the Vivarte Online cycle picks up this motif of incompleteness, understatement, openness of form. A trio of musicians - violinist Nikita Borisoglebsky, violist Andrei Usov and cellist Boris Andrianov - will perform two unfinished masterpieces by Franz Schubert and Jean Sibelius.

Program 2 parts:


Franz Schubert (1797–1828)

Trio for violin, viola and cello in B flat major, D. 471 (1816)



Jean Sibelius (1865–1957)

Trio for violin, viola and cello in G minor, JS 210



Gabor Meleg, "Portrait of F. Schubert" (1827)

In the autumn of 1816, when the 19-year-old Franz Schubert began composing a string trio in B-flat major, he already wrote an impressive number of works for such a young age and established himself on the conductor's podium. By that time, he had written five symphonies, several singspiel (small comic operas), a mass, a dozen quartets and several dozen different songs, including the famous masterpiece Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel. In vocal lyrics, Schubert found his vocation and, thanks to it, gained immortality; from the earliest years, all the composer's music was permeated with song, melody, including purely instrumental. The trio for violin, viola and cello in B flat major is not without melodic charm, but written in the spirit of Mozart and Haydn, it takes us back to the time of Schubert's apprenticeship, who diligently followed the precepts of the masters of the past (and his teacher, court bandmaster Antonio Salieri) , showing, however, both his individuality and the lyrical, truly romantic warehouse of talent. Like the quartets of that time, the trio, apparently, was intended for home music playing in the family circle: as usual, the brothers Franz Ferdinand and Ignaz played the violins, he himself played the viola, and the father of the family, Franz Theodor Florian Schubert, led the party 

cello. However, unlike the quartets, the trio was not completed by the author, apparently carried away by other ideas. Only the first part of the trio (Allegro) and a fragment of the second (Andante sostenuto) have survived to this day. The initial Allegro is a charming cloudless work, written with love, skill and wit according to all the canons of the classic sonata form.

The String Trio in G minor by Sibelius is an unfinished opus with an unusual concept and unclear circumstances of creation. Researchers put forward various hypotheses regarding the dating of the work. The author claimed that he wrote the trio in 1885 (in that year he became a student at the Institute of Music), but the score dates rather to 1893-1894, when the composer was entering his creative maturity and focused his interest on the national epic. Other compositions in the trio genre had previously been created by him for a family ensemble in which Jan was a violinist, his sister Linda played the piano, and his brother Christian played the cello.

In addition, since 1882, Sibelius constantly played as part of a quartet that performed Haydn's opuses, and in one of the letters of the 80s he mentioned that he had composed a trio and began working on another, since "it's nice to do something on rainy days" . However, in the trio in G minor we will not find anything reminiscent of Haydn, but we can easily hear the influence of another powerful figure - Tchaikovsky, who became an indisputable model for the young Sibelius. “I know that much in this person is akin to myself, and nothing can be done about it,” wrote Sibelius, who carried admiration for the Russian classic through the years and many of his works. It is Tchaikovsky's dramatic symphonic opuses with "rock themes" that apparently inspired the Sibelius trio. In addition to the sharply characteristic thematics and the original form of the parts, the trio is distinguished by a dramatic solution: the expressive slow Lento (the only completed part of the cycle) was to be followed by an impulsive Allegro with dance features and a summarizing Finale, from which only sketches have survived.


Eero Jarnefelt, "Portrait of J. Sibelius" (1892)


Jan, Linda and Christian Sibelius

at the State Tretyakov Gallery

A fragment of the text about musical works was prepared by musicologist Tatyana Davydova.

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