Trois Pieces en Quatuor, Op.64
Boisdeffre's Trois Pieces en Quatuor dates from 1890. He wrote three works for Piano Quartet. Two were formal standard quartets and this, Trois Pieces en Quatour. the third, was a set of three romantic pieces: Les Echoes, Elegie and Serenade. Each is lovely and contrasting. They make a fine short program selection and any of the three movements could be used as a fine encore. They are also suitable for amateurs as they present no technical difficulties.
René de Boisdeffre (1838-1906) was born in the French village of Vesoul. He came from a distinguished military family and moved to Paris at the age of four when his father, at that time a captain in the army, was transferred. His parents did not allow him to enter the Paris Conservatory but he received private piano and composition lessons from Charles Wagner and later from the respected French composer and professor at the Conservatory Auguste Barbereau. These came to an end when Saint Saens warned him away from Barbereau and briefly took the aspiring composer under his wings. Of independent means, he was able to devote himself to composition. He was especially fond of the genre of chamber music writing several trios, quartets and quintets, all with piano, as well as a number of instrumental pieces.