Piano Trio No.1 in B flat Major, Op.4
“Carl Goldmark has composed two piano trios which are both effective in the concert hall and welcome for home music makers. Piano Trio No.1, which dates from 1865, though an early work is in now way a weak one. To the contrary, it is fresh, powerful, full of wonderful melodies and superb tonal language. The short introductory measures of the first movement, Schnell (fast) are very energetic but give way to a sweet, lyrical and lovely main theme. The second movement, Adagio, begins with an improvisation in the tradition of Hungarian gypsy music. It has exotic tone color and oriental harmonies. One is reminded of his opera, The Queen of Sheba. Further on is a lovely singing cello solo. The middle section has a particularly fetching melody. Then comes a Scherzo. There is a spirited fugue-like theme which is followed by a magnificent lyrical subject. The coda which goes ever faster is particularly effective. The opening theme to the finale, Allegro, is forceful. The second theme, which is more lyrical provides excellent contrast."---Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Handbook for Piano Trio Players.
Carl Goldmark (1830-1915) was born in the town of Keszthely in Austria-Hungary. His early musical training was at the conservatories in Sopron and Odenburg. His father then sent him to Vienna where he briefly studied violin under two of the better known teachers, Leopold Jansa and Joseph Böhm. As a composer, however, Goldmark was largely self-taught.
World-wide fame came to him with the performance of his opera The Queen of Sheba. He wrote in most genres and many of his other compositions, such as his Violin Concerto and the Rustic Wedding Symphony, were quite popular during his lifetime and for several years thereafter. His chamber music was well-thought of and also received concert performances while he was alive but sadly disappeared from the concert stage after his death. Brahms was to become a good friend but Goldmark's chamber music does not show much of that composer's influence. Rather, one sometimes hears an interesting mix of Mendelssohn and Schumann often seasoned with lively Hungarian gypsy melodies.
Long out of print, we have reprinted the only edition, corrected its mistakes and added rehearsal numbers to aid performance. Here is a fine work which not only deserves concert performance but will also be a great pleasure to amateurs.