Fantasiestücke for Violin, Viola and Piano, Op.27
Gustav Jensen (1843-1895) was born in the Prussian town of Königsberg. He studied composition with Siegfried Dehn and violin with Joeph Joachim and Ferdinand Laub at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. He subsequently pursued a career as a composer, performer and teacher, becoming a professor at the Cologne Conservatory. Jensen was not only an excellent violinist but also a fine violist often performing on that instrument in chamber music concerts.
The genre of Fantasy Pieces (Fantasiestücke in German) was more or less pioneered by Robert Schumann in the 1830's. These were generally a set of shorter pieces meant to be performed together. Each, colorful and with a different mood or character. Schumann's Märchenerzählungen for violin, viola and piano, composed in the mid 1850's, proved a very popular work and led several other composers such as Robert Fuchs to write similar works for the combination. Jensen's Fantasiestücke for Violin, Viola and Piano date from 1888 and are in three movements. The opening Allegro con brio is full of spirit and optimism. The lovely middle movement Andante cantabile is at times reflective and then elegiac. The exciting finale founds off a superb work.
Out of print or unavailable for many years this trio is first rate all the way and would do well in concert though by all means should be savored by amateurs as well.