Seven Fantasy Pieces for Cello & Piano, Op.78
Robert Fuchs' Seven Fantasy Pieces for Cello and Piano, Op.78 were dedicated to his friend, the Austrian composer Richard von Perger. They must be included in the front rank of such works. They date from The genre of Fantasy Pieces (Phantasiestücke in German) was more or less pioneered by Robert Schumann in the 1830's. These were generally a set of shorter pieces meant to be performed together. Each, colorful and with a different mood or character.
Robert Fuchs (1847-1927) was born near the Styrian capital of Graz and attended the University of Vienna Conservatory studying with Otto Dessoff and Joseph Hellmesberger. By 1875, he himself was teaching at the Conservatory, eventually rising to the rank of Professor of Composition. He was one of the most famous and revered teachers of his time. Mahler, Sibelius, Hugo Wolf, Franz Schmidt, Alexander Zemlinsky, Franz Schrecker and Richard Heuberger were among his many students.
Fuchs very much liked this genre and wrote several sets of fantasy pieces for different combinations of instruments. As previously noted, these are among the best.
The Seven Fantasy Pieces were originally published in 1906 by Robitschek of Vienna in two parts or books. The only reason we can think of is so that the publisher could make more money because the pieces are not particularly long. All seven could easily have printed in one volume and can certainly be performed together, as they were no doubt intended since as a whole they are the length of a standard sonata. We have made them available for the first time in one volume.