Kammermusikdichtung for Piano Trio, Op.20
Paul Graener (1872-1944) served as director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London from 1898-1906, taught at the New Vienna Conservatory from 1911-1913, was appointed Director of the Mozarteum in Salzburg in 1914, succeeded Max Reger as Professor of Composition at the Leipzig Conservatory and then served as director of the Stern Conservatory in Berlin from 1934. Graener was a prolific composer and during the 1920’s and 30’s his works, especially his operas, were frequently performed.
In the one movement Kammermusikdichtung, Op.20 (Chamber Music Poem) was composed in 1906. From the very powerful opening measures, with its dark and melancholy theme, it almost bursts the boundaries of chamber music. It was dedicated to the German poet, Wilhelm Raabe after Graener had read Raabe’s 1864 novel, Der Hungerpastor. But according to Graener scholars, the Kammermusikdichtung is not to be regarded as programmatic music based on Raabe’s novel, but rather simply as dedication for the inspiration it gave Graener. Nonetheless, it is a very theatrical composition. Much of the thematic material bears the resemblance to themes found in Bruckner’s symphonies, although the Poem cannot really be called a Brucknerian work. Lasting some 20 minutes, this is a powerful and emotionally draining trio. Although it is in one movement, there are several sections. Our soundbite presents about 2/5ths of this magnificent work.
Powerful, original and highly dramatic, this work is sure to triumph in the concert hall where it undoubtedly make a strong impression on audiences. Unavailable for many decades, we are pleased to reintroduce it.