Piano Trio No.5 in b minor, Op.46
Fesca’s Piano Trio No.5 in b minor dates from 1845. Its wonderful melodies are without doubt its most striking feature. The opening movement, an Allegro molto con spirito, is particularly impressive by virtue of its Andante con sentimento introduction in the major creating the mood of a barcarolle. This gives way to an exciting and hard driving series of themes in the minor. The second movement, Andante cantabile, Fesca calls a Romance. And, indeed, the music is so romantically charged that Schumann warned Fesca to “watch out for the longing glances of smitten lady admirers.” Next comes a Scherzo, allegro moderato. This begins with a series of double stops in the cello giving the music the flavor of a rustic folk dance with bagpipe. The trio section is lighter. The finale, another Allegro moderato is in four sections without development. Throughout, the composer’s gift for beautiful melodies is clearly on display.
Alexander Ernst Fesca (1820-1849) was born in the German city of Karlsruhe where his father Friedrich Ernst Fesca, also a composer, was serving as music director of the Ducal Court Orchestra of Baden. Fesca received his first lessons from his father and was considered a prodigy on the piano. He attended the Prussian Royal Conservatory in Berlin where he graduated with a degree in composition at the young age of 14 after which he enjoyed a career as a pianist and music director. Though he did not live very long, he composed a considerable amount of music. His chamber music includes six piano trios, two piano quartets and two septets for piano, winds and strings.
Writing of Alexander Fesca’s Piano Trios in his Handbook for Piano Trio Players, the famed critic Wilhelm Altmann states “Alexander Fesca’s six piano trios will always a warm place in the hearts of chamber music afficionados.” We have reprinted the second edition dating from 1856. The piano part is not a piano score but just the piano part, however we have added rehearsal letters to aid performance. This is a fine work deserving of both concert performance and a place on the stands of amateurs.