Piano Trio No.2 in F Major, Op.72
"Benjamin Godard's two piano trios are delightful and are to be unhesitatingly recommended." This was the opinion of Walter Wilson Cobbett, editor of the highly respected guide to chamber music, Cobbett's Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music.
Piano Trio No.2 dates from 1884. It clearly shows his ability to write in a dramatic vein while at the same time showcasing his considerable lyrical talent which his contemporaries constantly praised. The opening movement Allegro moderato begins with the strings singing a cantabile melody over the syncopated resistance in the piano. The harmonic writing is very sophisticated. The tender melody of the second movement, Adagio, creates a sunny mood which is only briefly interrupted by a few shadows in the middle section. The playful Vivace with its warbling birdsong serves as a scherzo. The dotted rhythm and swelling melody of the stormy finale, Allegro vivace, gives the music an almost Hungarian flavor.
Benjamin Godard (1849-95) was born in Paris. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire composition with Reber and violin with Henri Vieuxtemps. He was somewhat of a prodigy on that instrument, as well as on the viola, and accompanied Vieuxtemps to Germany on concert tours on two occasions. Godard enjoyed chamber music and played in several performing ensembles. This experience stood him good stead when it came to writing effective chamber music compositions. In 1878, Godard was the co-winner with Théodore Dubois, head of the Paris Conservatory, of a musical competition instituted by the city of Paris. He composed music with great facility and from 1878 to the time until his death Godard composed a surprisingly large number of works, including the opera Jocelyn, from which the famous "Berceuse" has become perhaps his best known work. He also composed several symphonic works, ballets, concertos, overtures and chamber music, including three string quartets and two piano trios.
This work will certain make a fine impression in the concert hall and ought to be very welcome on the music stands of amateurs. Out of print for many years, we are pleased to offer it.