Piano Quartet Trio in G Major, Op.19
BoŽllmann's highly original and attractive piano trio is quite different from what his countrymen and other contemporaries were writing at the time.
Lťon BoŽllmann (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.
His Piano Trio dates from 1895 and like his Piano Quartet which composed five years earlier, also was awarded a prize by French Sociťtť des Compositeurs. Structurally, the Piano Trio is an experimental work in that BoŽllmann writes it in two sections only. However, each has two subsections, so one could say it has four movements except that the subsections are joined to each other. In the first movement, Introduction, Allegro et Andante, a brief and somewhat jazzy introduction in the minor, a bright and rhythmically free Allegro, full of bounce begins. The beautiful Andante which is interspered through the first section is lyrical and highly romantic. The second section, Scherzo et Finale, Allegro vivace, begins with a pulsating, tense scherzo, the trio is so seamlessly integrated into the scherzo that one is only barely aware of it. The finale, Allegro vivace, begins without pause. The urgent main theme is frantic and heavily accented. The second subject relaxes the tension but not the forward motion.
This piano trio is first class from start to finish. It is fresh and very original and it is a travesty that we do not hear it in concert. Amateurs will also wish to discover this highly appealing work. We are pleased to make it available after more than a century of being out of print.