There are no recordings of this work. Our soundbite is from an old tape made by amateurs
Piano Trio No.5 in D Major
Anton Filtz (1733-1760, also spelled Fils or Fieltz) was born in the German town of Eichstett in Bavaria. He received cello lessons from his father who was also a cellist and eventually joined the famous Mannheim Orchestra, at that time considered the best in Europe, under the direction of Johann Stamitz. Although he only lived 27 years, he was, as was typical of the time, a prolific composer who left over a hundred works in most genres. Along with Johann and Carl Stamitz, and Franz Xaver Richter, Filtz is considered one of the founders of the Mannheim school of composition—an important transitional phase between the Baroque era and the newly emerging style which ultimately became the Vienna Classical Style.
It is not known exactly when Trio No.5 in D Major was composed, although most scholars date it toward the end of Filtz’s life in the late 1750’s. Certainly its style supports this supposition. It was not published until nearly 20 years after his death and appeared as a part of a set of six Sonate da Camera, of which only five were trios, the sixth being a quartet. These works enjoyed considerably popularity once published and appeared in many different versions--for violin, cello and basso continuo, for two flutes, cello, and continuo and so forth.
In the early publications, the harpsichord takes the continuo line with a figured bass (the modern piano had not yet fully emerged). Significantly, the work in all versions is is for Violoncello but not Viola da gamba which clearly marks it as a post-baroque composition. It is in two movements: a substantial Allegro Moderato and a shorter Allegro non troppo. Filtz dispenses with a slow movement. Filtz’s writing for the cello also marks this trio as post Baroque. The cello is totally independent of the piano and is, in fact, treated as a full equal with the violin—something which neither Haydn nor Mozart ever did in their trios. As such, the work must be considered as a pioneering and historically important work. But the lovely writing is such that the work can stand on its own independent of this fact.
Our edition is based on a manuscript copy in the Royal Danish Library and on the Paris edition of 1779. It is intended for the modern piano trio--the violin, the cello and the piano. It is not an edition aimed at performers desiring to play on historical instruments. The piano part does not provide a figured bass. Rather, we have created a very effective version which meets the needs of most modern players.