Eight Pieces for Cello & Piano, Op.79
Also Available for Violin or Viola
Theodor Kirchnerís compositional talent was respected and held in the highest regard by Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, Wagner and many others. But Kirchner, found himself unable to write large scale works. Rather, he excelled at writing miniatures. He would often write several at a time and then publish them together, each with a different mood and feel and each perfect in its own way. Ultimately he became known as the undisputed master of the character piece, a short kind of free form work. Kirchner literally wrote hundreds of such pieces which can rightly be considered little gems, little masterpieces. His Eight Pieces (Acht StŁcke in the German) were originally published for cello and piano. They were so popular that his publisher insisted upon arrangements for violin and viola.
Kirchner (1823-1903) was born in the town of Neukirchen near Chemnitz in the German province of Saxony. He showed a prodigious musical talent at an early age, however, his father was reluctant to let him study music. It was only after hearing both Schumann and Mendelssohn highly praise his sonís talent that he permitted Theodor to attend the Leipzig Conservatory, where he studied with Mendelssohn, among others. Subsequently he held a positions as an organist and then as a teacher at various conservatories. He wrote more than 1,000 works, most are short and for the piano, although he did write a small amount of very appealing chamber music.
The Eight Pieces were originally published by Hofmeister in 1886. This fine edition has been unavailable for decades but we have made it available once again. None of the pieces are longer than 4 minutes and it was intended that all eight be played together. However, Kirchner knew that they also made excellent encores when played individually and never objected to this practice. Both amateurs and professionals alike will find these pieces much to their taste.