Piano Trio in F Major, Op.42
Niels Gade (1817-1890) was born in Copenhagen and began his career as a concert violinist, later taking a position with the Royal Danish Orchestra. Mendelssohn, who was much impressed by and premiered Gade’s First Symphony, invited him to teach at the famous Leipzig Conservatory. After Mendelssohn’s death in 1847, Gade was appointed director of the Conservatory and also conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra. In 1848, he returned to Copenhagen the next year when war broke out between Prussia and Denmark. In Copenhagen, Gade became director of the Copenhagen Musical Society and established a new orchestra and chorus. He was widely regarded as Denmark's most important composer from the mid-Romantic period. He taught and influenced several Scandinavian composers, including Edvard Grieg, Carl Nielsen and Otto Malling. His own music often shows the influence of both Mendelssohn and Schumann.
Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Handbook for Piano Trio Players has this to say about Gade’s Op.42 Trio:
“Gade’s Piano Trio in F Major, Op.42 was published in 1864 and is his most substantial work for this combination. The trio begins with a fresh-sounding Allegro animato and is followed by an archetypical scherzo, Allegro molto vivace with a pleasing and elegant middle sections. The third movement is a short, but very fine Andantino. In truth, in might almost be considered a lengthy introduction for the finale, Allegro con fuoco, which makes a very effective conclusion.
Walter Wilson Cobbett, writing in his Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music notes that this work has always been much favored by amateurs and by performers seeking an effective concert piece which presents no real technical difficulties.