Piano Quintet in a minor, Op.38
The only reason Arthur Foote's Piano Quintet work has never received the audience it deserves is because it was written by an American who was “out of the loop,” living in Boston, far away from the then main centers of interest for such music, i.e. places such as Vienna, Berlin, London and Paris. But this work is in no way inferior to its great European counterparts.
Arthur 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. 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.
Certainly American quartets considering performing a piano quintet should give the Foote a chance. It will surely be an audience pleaser. It is an unqualified masterwork.