Piano Trio in g minor, Op.17
Clara Schumann (1819-1896) was a gifted pianist whose lessons were from her father Friedrich Wieck, a prominent piano teacher. Robert Schumann also studied with Wieck and having gotten to know Clara eventually married her. She enjoyed a considerable career as a concert pianist and teacher.
Clara began composing early and was encouraged by her husband to continue during her their marriage although after her husband's death she gave up composing and devoted herself to performing Robert's works for piano and was for many years considered his finest interpreter. Through Schumann, Clara met all of the leading musicians of the day and her music shows the influence of Mendelssohn, Liszt, Chopin and, of course, her husband.
Her Piano Trio is the only chamber music work she wrote and dates from 1847. It shows her considerable talent and one is left to wonder what else she might have achieved had she chosen to continue composing. The opening Allegro moderato, begins with a Mendelssohn theme of yearning. The second theme is a lovely, lyrical melody. The second movement, though it is marked scherzo and is also designated, Tempo di Menuetto, it really sounds like neither of these but rather an gentle, somewhat playful intermezzo. A slow movement, Andante, comes next. The atmosphere is highly romantic and exudes the aura of a very effective Song Without Words a la Mendelssohn. A thrusting, dramatic middle section interrupts the proceedings and makes for a fine contrast. The finale, Allegretto, begins quietly with a wayward, chromatic theme. The music is presented with great taste and elegance.
This is another fine mid romantic trio that it has never received the audience it deserves. Our edition is based on the original to which we have corrected errors and added rehearsal numbers. We hope that by making it available, it will find a place on the music stands of both professionals and amateurs.