Theodor Kirchner


Novellette No.1

Novellette No.2

Novellette No.3

Novellette No.4

Novellette No.5

Novellette No.6


Novellette No.7

Novellette No.8

Novellette No.9

Novellette No.10

Novellette No.11

Novellette No.12

12 Novelletten for Piano Trio, Op.59

Theodor Kirchner's Op.59 Novelletten appeared in 1881 and were brought out by the German publisher Simrock in 2 volumes. They were meant as a tribute to Robert Schumann who introduced the format. The term novellette denoted a character piece generally short and of free form. Kirchner was widely considered to be the undisputed master of the character piece and of miniatures. He literally wrote hundreds of such pieces which can rightly be considered little gems, little masterworks. The 12 song-like pieces, which compose the Novelletten, evoke various moods. Some bring to mind the Swiss countryside, where he had lived for many years, others are redolent of the atmosphere of the cafes of Vienna, Berlin and Zurich. The funereal 9th Novellette is tinged with Hungarian rhythms, while the 10th is evocative of a peasant round dance and the 11th is clearly meant to evoke the hunt as the three instruments imitate the sound of the hunting horns.


Theodor 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. It was upon Mendelssohnís recommendation that Kirchner in 1843 obtained his first position as organist of the main church in Winterthur in Switzerland. He was a friend of both Robert and Clara Schumann as well as Brahms. Kirchnerís compositional talent was widely 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.


We have offered the Novelletten in two books as the original Simrock editions did. However, we have also put them all together and offered them at an attractive price for those who want both volumes.


(A) Novelletten Book No.1 Op.59 Nos.1-6


(B) Novelletten Book No.2 Op.59 Nos.7-12


(C) All 12 Novelletten




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