Piano Trio No.2 in D Major, Op.123 "Trio Sinfonico"
Marco Enrico Bossi (1861-1925) was born in SalÚ, a town in Lombardy, into a family of musicians. His father was organist at SalÚ Cathedral. He studied organ, piano and composition at the conservatories in Bologna and Milan. Among his teachers was Amilcare Ponchielli. Bossi enjoyed a career as an organ soloist but also as a music educator. He became a professor of organ and harmony at the Naples Conservatory, later serving as director of the conservatories in Venice, Bologna and Rome. He was responsible for establishing and implementing the standards of organ studies that are still used in Italy today. As a concert organist, he made numerous international organ recital tours, which brought him in contact with well-known colleagues such as Cťsar Franck and Camille Saint-SaŽns.
Only recently has his importance as a composer been recognized. Bossi wrote more than 150 works for various genres including orchestral works, operas, oratorios, and chamber music, as well as many pieces for piano and organ. His compositions are still largely unknown, except for his organ works.
Bossiís second piano trio, the Trio Sinfonico, dates from 1901. The subtitle shows that the composer intended the music to almost break the bounds of chamber music. This can be seen in the nature of thematic material and its tendency toward dramatic expression. The trio is elegiac in character, and its theme run the gamut from lyrical to dramatic to melodramatic. The opening bars of the first movement, Moderato, quickly establish the general character of the work. The main section of the movement is entitled Energico con vita. The second movement, Adagio, is funereal in character and is, in fact, subtitled In Memoriam.Ē It is particularly striking that that some of the rich chordal dissonances clearly anticipate Bartok. Bossiís gift for invention is particularly on show here. The third movement, Allegretto, is sbutitled Noveletta. Instead of the traditional trio one expects, Bossi substitutes a Tranquillo consisting of undulating broken chords which provide a nice contrast with the more lively main section. In the finale, Allegro energico, the thematic material with its searching yearning melody and powerful instrumentation leans toward the symphonic in expression.
Writing in his Handbook for Piano Trio Players, Wilhelm Altmann remarked that this trio was not only artfully constructed but full of new ideas which made this work an important contribution to the repertoire. Out of print for may years, we are pleased to present it once again.