Piano Trio No.5 in G major, Op.34
The well-known German critic Walter Labhart, writing of Kiel's Fifth Piano Trio, which dates from 1854, remarks : "It is a remarkable work notably for its subtle counterpoint and its graphic qualities. The diversity of the piano part and the wonderful melodies are particularly fine. The slow movement, a kind of intermezzo with an agitated middle section, reveals a stylistic kinship with Beethoven though it is based on its own individual pattern of modulations. The finale is a Rondo, at first lively and elegant and then later serene, it makes a fitting conclusion to the work."
Writing of the chamber music of Friedrich Kiel (1821-1885), Wilhelm Altmann—perhaps the greatest of chamber music critics—notes that it was Kiel’s extreme modesty which kept him and his exceptional works from receiving the consideration they deserved. And what consideration did Altmann feel these works deserved? After mentioning Brahms and others, Altmann writes, “He produced a number of chamber works, which...need fear no comparison.” Altmann, himself, said that he found in Kiel’s chamber music a “never ending source of delight.” That his works remained relatively unknown was due mostly to his modesty but also, Altmann explains, to the high cost of the original editions. Kiel was taught the rudiments of music and received his first piano lessons from his father but was in large part self-taught. Something of a prodigy, he played the piano almost without instruction at the age of six, and by his thirteenth year he had composed much music. Kiel eventually won a scholarship which allowed him to study in Berlin with the renowned theorist and teacher Siefried Dehn. By 1866, Kiel obtained a teaching position at the prestigious Stern Conservatory and was elevated to a professorship three years later. In 1870 he joined the faculty of the newly founded Hochschule für Musik which was shortly thereafter considered one of the finest music schools in Germany. Among his many students were Zygmunt Noskowski, Ignacy Paderewski and Charles Villiers Stanford.
Printed only once, we have reprinted the original edition correcting mistakes and adding rehearsal letters. Like his other trios, this one too would certainly succeed in concert but amateurs should under no circumstances miss a chance to play it as well.