Alexis de Castillon
Piano Trio No.1 in B flat Major, Op.4
Castillon's Piano Trio No.1, Op.4 was completed in 1869 and published 2 years later. The opening movement, Prelude and Andante, is quite interesting in that it begins as a quasi recitatif for the piano. The tempo is relaxed throughout and the players are told that they may "take liberties" with the tempo. The second movement, Scherzo allegro, is literally tied to the end of the first movement. It is a bright and playful affair. Next comes a deeply felt Romance. An upbeat, extended finale, Allegro lusingando, concludes this fine work.
Alexis de Castillon (1838-1873) was born in the French city of Chartres. As a member of the nobility his parents initially expected him to have a military career, which for a time he pursued, joining the imperial cavalry. However, his love of music, which came from the piano lessons he had received as a boy, led him to enter the Paris Conservatoire where he ultimately studied with César Franck. His health, always of a fragile nature, was not helped by his military service in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71. His health deteriorated and he never really recovered. He composed several chamber works which his contemporaries considered to be first rate. Vincent d’Indy called him one of the best chamber music composers of his time.
Long out of print, this piano trio is not only highly original but owes very little to what was going on in France at the time. We are pleased to make it available once again and recommend it to both amateurs (it has no technical difficulties) and professionals alike.s.