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The Trio Zadig joins with the actor Stéphane Varupenne of the Comédie-Française for this elegantly romantic performance of Tchaikovsky’s Seasons. This is probably the most poetic and the most popular of all of Tchaikovsky’s works, with its twelve short pieces, one for each month of the year. The album considers the passage of time, with its joys and its darker moments, whilst a nostalgic remembrance of childhood also resonates through the music. The twelve sketches that make up the collection bear subtitles, these including “At the fireside”, “Barcarolle”, “The Hunt”, “Autumn Song” and “Troika (Sleigh Ride)”. The collection was composed between November 1875 and May 1876 at the request of Nikolay Matveyevich Bernard, the publisher of Le Nouvelliste, a monthly music magazine in St. Petersburg. Alexander Goedicke, a Russian composer of the early 20th century and one of the great Russian organists of his time, made this arrangement of the Seasons for piano trio. The Trio Zadig considers this cycle to be one of Tchaikovsky’s major works. The actor Stéphane Varupenne here adds a magically childlike aspect to the cycle: this recording is like a musical book, one that has a poem for each month of the year. These verses can be delicious, charming, lyrical, subtle, and even melancholic, with a typically Russian character that Stéphane Varupenne takes pleasure in imparting. Each piece seems to begin with the words “Once upon a time…”.

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