Trio Khaldei

THE Trio

Trio Khaldei brings together Barbara Baltussen (piano), Pieter Jansen (violin) and Francis Mourey (cello), three musicians with a passion for chamber music and, more specifically, for the unique sonority of the piano trio.

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J.N. Hummel Trio in F
Z. Kodály Duo for violin and cello
F. Martin Trio sur des mélodies populaires irlandaises
A. Dvorak Trio Dumky

For centuries, composers have been inspired by popular music of every kind, borrowing elements, motifs and themes for use in their own ‘art music’.

Joseph Haydn, the ‘father’ of the string quartet, wrote 45 piano trios! Here is his most well known trio, known as alla zingarese, or the Gypsy. In the last movement, entitled Rondo alla zingarese by Haydn himself, the composer uses many elements that come from Gypsy musicians that he met in Esterhazy’s court.

Zoltán Kodály’s Duo Op. 7, composed in 1914, represents a glorious fusion of elements of Hungarian folklore with more formal structures of Western Classical music. Kodaly spent part of his life travelling across the Hungarian countryside with Béla Bartók, collecting, gathering and analysing the melodies of the people.

Commissioned in 1925 by a rich American amateur musician of Irish origin, Frank Martin’s Trio sur des mélodies populaires irlandaises is based on popular Irish folk tunes. It is inspired by previously unpublished ancient melodies that come from dances as well as songs.

Antonin Dvořak was happy to let traditional Slavic music influence his work. These influences can be seen in one of the favourites of the piano trio repertoire, the Dumky trio. Dumky, plural of dumka, is a diminutive form of the term duma, which refers to epic ballads, specifically a song or lament of captive people. During the 19th Century, Slavic composers used the term duma to indicate a brooding, introspective composition interspersed with cheerful and light sections.


Shostakovich & Prokofiev

Shostakovich & Prokofiev

S. Prokofiev Ballade 
S. Prokofiev 5 Mélodies 
D. Shostakovich Trio No.1 in C 
D. Shostakovich Trio No.2 in e 

The programme from our first CD. Two magnificent but under-performed duos by Prokofiev, the first early trio by Shostakovich and his captivating second trio, a favourite in Trio Khaldei’s repertoire.

The Piano Trio No. 1 is one of Shostakovich’s true early works and is filled with the romanticism and passion of the composer’s first amorous encounter. This short, one-movement piece contains many features characteristic of Shostakovich’s later works, such as snatches of humour, agitated piano passages, persistent chordal passages and sometimes uncomfortable dissonances but these give way to two extended melodies juxtaposing lyricism and exasperated anticipation.

Little of this romantic vigour remains in the second Piano Trio, a product not of love, but of war. The full sound of the cello in the first trio is markedly different from the fragile and barely audible introduction, played by the cello in harmonics, to the second trio. The work leaves a haunting void in its wake; an emptiness that Shostakovich himself experienced when one of his most versatile and brilliant friends, Ivan Sollertinsky, passed away while the trio was being composed. It is to Sollertinsky that the trio is dedicated, making this masterpiece almost a requiem.

The atmosphere created in the two Prokofiev pieces presented here is more in keeping with that of Shostakovich’s Trio No. 1. This is definitely true in the case of the Ballade for Cello and Piano, one of Prokofiev’s early works. It was written in 1912, when the composer was 21. This one-movement work also has a poetic French title (Shostakovich’s Trio No. 1 was originally entitled Poème), and this immediately gives a narrative element to the music, even if it is not explicit. As is often the case in ballades, the music transports the listener from one atmosphere to the next, punctuating the journey with repeated melodic motifs.

The Five Melodies for Violin and Piano (1925) is an unusual work. The piece was originally written in 1920 for piano and voice without words, using the title ‘Songs without Words’ in its strictest sense. It is precisely this absence of text that makes these pieces so easily adaptable to other instruments. Prokofiev himself arranged a version for violin, at the request of Pavel Kockansky, to whom he dedicated three of the five melodies. 
Text Pieter Bergé




Verklärte Nacht
New recording

Hummel - Brahms - Schönberg



Listen to Barbara Baltussen this week in ‘Zomerhits’ on Klara!


"Demandez le programme"

A pleasant, summery interview of our pianist in « Demandez le programme » on Musiq3 with a lot of fragments from our new cd. (In french) 

Musiq3 : "demandez le programme"





  • Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No.7 in A, Op. 92
  • Dmitri Sjostakovitsj Symphony No.15 in A, Op. 141 (arr. V. Derevianko)

Dimitri Shostakovich Trio No. 2 in e, op. 67
Dimitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 15 in A, op. 141 (arr. V. Derevianko)

Trio Khaldei offers a new perspective on two major works of the symphonic repertoire, and revives a custom that was very popular up to the start of the 20th century – that of arrangement, allowing the audience to discover or rediscover these masterpieces.



  • Frits Celis Trio, Op. 5
  • Joseph Jongen Trio in b, Op. 10
  • Maurice Ravel Trio
  • Frits Celis Trio, Op. 5
  • Joseph Jongen Trio in b, Op. 10
    • II. Andante molto sostenuto
  • Maurice Ravel Trio in a
This innovative programme is built around one of the masterpieces of the chamber music genre: Maurice Ravel’s Trio. Trio Khaldei is always searching for imaginative programmes in which well-known works appear alongside their lesser-known counterparts. In addition to this trio, they offer the magnificent music of Belgian composers Frits Celis and Joseph Jongen.
1882<span>East meets West</span>

1882East meets West

1882East meets West

Igor Stravinsky Suite Italienne
Johannes Brahms Trio in C, Op. 87
Piotr Illitch Tchaïkovski Trio in a, Op. 50

In this program, we see the contrasts and similarities between two of the most representative trios in music history, both written in 1882.

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