Edgar Stillman Kelley
Piano Quintet in f sharp minor, Op.20
"The Piano Quartet in f sharp minor by the American Edgar Stillman Kelley dates from 1901 and was published in 1907. Throughout, it features outstanding thematic work and a vast array of appealing ideas. One also finds many unusual rhythmic and harmonic episodes. The Quintet begins with a powerful Allegro risoluto. This is followed by a Lento sostenuto e misterioso with a middle section, un poco agitato, that is tonally quite beautiful. Next comes a fresh sounding scherzo, Allegretto scherzando. The finale, Moderato molto--allegro, begins with a very effective slow introduction which builds tension eventually leading to the exciting main section. In this quintet, the piano writing never drowns out the strings. It should make friends both with professionals and amateurs."---Wilhelm Alstmann writing in his Handbook for Piano Quintet Players.
"A work of solid merit and craftsmanship. It retains its inherent charm, the second movement especially, with its suggestion of bells sounding in the piano part is truly poetic. There is splendid balance throughout with the piano part being particularly grateful.---Cobbett's Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music.
Edgar Stillman Kelley, (1857-1944) was born in Sparta, Wisconsin. After studying locally, he entered the Hershey School of Musical Art in Chicago and then continued his studies in Germany at the Stuttgart Conservatory. A talented pianist and organist, he persuled a solo career in Europe before returning to the United States where he taught at New York University and Yale. Subsequently, he returned to Europe again touring as a soloist, teaching and conduction. He finally returned to the U.S. teaching at Western College in Ohio and the Cincinnati Conservatory. As far as chamber music goes, besides this Piano Quintet, he also wrote a string quartet.
Out of print for the better part of a century, we are pleased to reintroduce this important American piano quintet from the Romantic era. It should be of interest to both professionals and amateurs.