Two Pieces for Violoncello & Piano, Op.31
Léon Boëllmann (1862-1897) was born in the Alsatian town of Ensisheim. He moved to Paris after the Franco-Prussian War after which Alsace became part of Germany. In Paris, he studied organ, piano and composition at the Ecole de Musique Classique, winning many honors. After graduating he worked as a teacher at the Ecole. His compositions won him considerable recognition and he almost certainly would have made a greater name for himself had he not died at the young age of 35.
The Two Pieces for Cello and Piano were composed in 1896, the year before the composer's death. They were originally sold separately and perhaps were intended to be played independently of each other either as short recital works or encores. We have put them together and offer them at a very modest price. The first work entitled Valse Lente begins quietly and is tinged with a vague melancholy and at first sounds very little like a waltz, but as the music continues a second theme a little lighter is put into dance rhythm. The second work, Menuet, begins with a burst of energy, modern sounding, one can hear its relationship to the classical minuet, but would be more at home as ballet music than as an actual dance.
These two lovely works are very typical of the late French Romantic movement. Either serves quite nicely as a short recital work or encore.