Piano Quartet in C Major, Op.23
If Arthur Foote's his name is not entirely unknown, it is fair to say that his music is. This is a shame especially as far as chamber musicians are concerned. Foote’s chamber music is first rate, deserving of regular public performance.
Foote (1853-1937) certainly was the equal of nearly any of his European contemporaries, but the fact that he was an American, at a time when American composers were not generally taken seriously, was without doubt an insurmountable obstacle to his achieving the reputation he deserved. Foote was born in Salem, Massachusetts and was the first important American composer trained entirely in America. His main teacher was John Knowles Paine, from whom Foote gained an admiration for and was primarily influenced by the leading Central European Romantic composers of the day, such as Mendelssohn, Schumann, Dvorak and Brahms.
The Piano Quartet was completed in 1890 and was, during Foote's lifetime, one of his most popular works, receiving numerous performances in both the U.S. and Europe before inexplicably disappearing from the concert stage. The celebratory opening movement, Allegro comodo, is sunny and full of good spirits. A vivacious and energetic Schumannesque Scherzo follows. The third movement, Adagio, ma con moto, is a leisurely, joyous theme of thanksgiving. The appealing finale, Allegro non troppo, is full of excitement, wonderful melodies and even a fugue before the satisfying coda.
Here is work of the first order, fun to play and an audience pleaser. It ought to be heard in concert halls once again and will be appreciated by both amateurs and professionals alike. Out of print for more than 50 years, we are pleased to bring it back