Piano Trio No.4 in e minor, Op.72
“Robert Kahn’s Piano Trio No.4 in e minor, which appeared in 1922, clearly demonstrates his superb compositional talent and creativity. The music is appealing, always noble, full of original rhythmic touches and fetching melody.. In short, this is an extraordinarily fine sounding work. The trio is in five concise movements. While all of the movements are first rate, I find the third movement, Adagio non troppo, and the fourth, a charming intermezzo, Allegretto non troppo, are absolutely superb and leave nothing to be desired. But the other three movements are also extremely effective." ---Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Handbook for Piano Trio Players.
Robert Kahn (1865-1951) was born in Mannheim of a well-to-do banking family. He began his studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. There, he got to know and became friends with Joseph Joachim who was the director. It was through both Joachim and his own family that he had a chance to get to know Brahms, who was so impressed with Kahn that he offered to give him composition lessons. However, Kahn was too overawed to accept. Nevertheless, Brahms did help Kahn informally, and while Kahn's work does, to some extent, show the influence of Brahms, he is an eclectic and independent composer whose music has its own originality. After finishing his studies in Berlin, Kahn, on Brahms' suggestion, went to Munich to study with Joseph Rheinberger. After completing his own studies, he worked for a while as a free lance composer before obtaining a position at the Hochschule in Berlin where he eventually became a professor of piano and composition.
This is an undoubted masterpiece, as good as anything from the late romantic era. It absolutely deserves to be heard in concert. And Kahn's chamber music is never beyond the reach of amateurs, who will surely get pleasure from it. Long out of print, we are pleased to be able to reintroduce this very fine and appealing piano trio.