Trio in f# minor for Violin, Viola & Piano, Op.115
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. That his compositions did not become better known was largely due to the fact that he did little to promote them, living a quiet life in Vienna and refusing to arrange concerts, even when the opportunity arose, in other cities. He certainly had his admirers, including many famous conductors such as Arthur Nikisch, Felix Weingartner and Hans Richter, who championed his works when they had the opportunity.
His Trio for Violin, Viola and Piano dates from 1926 and is one of his last works. He was 79 at the time he composed it. It was not, however his first work for this combination. He had written his 7 Fantasy Pieces, Op.57 (also available from us) some 30 years earlier. The opening movement, Allegro molto moderato, recalls late Brahms in its tonalities. The overall mood is one of melancholy and unrest. But the Andante grazioso which follows is bright and upbeat, however a stormy and dramatic middle section totally changes things until the main section returns. Next comes an Allegretto scherzando, a dance rhythm tinged with sadness but in the middle section, an upbeat lively chases the clouds away. The finale, Allegro giusto, has a pressing, determined quality to its main theme. Once again, the music has somewhat dark quality to it.
Fuchs created a wonderful masterwork for this combination which every such ensemble would be well to acquire and add to its repertoire. Out of print for nearly a century, we are pleased to make it available once again