Piano Trio in A Major, Op.7
“Toivo Kuula's Piano Trio, which was published in 1910, though lengthy, nonetheless shows the hand of a real talent. Structurally following the classical tradition, the work shows the influence, to some extent of the German Romantics. In the first movement, Allegro moderato, the opening theme is characterized more by the unusual rhythms than the thematic material, however, the second subject, a kind of funeral music, is quite noteworthy. The Scherzo which follows is particularly well-done and the lovely, contrasting middle section which serves as a trio is also appealing. The third movement, Andante elegico, is full of beautiful touches. The main theme to the finale, Allegro vivace, has the character of a tarantella while the second subject is rather march-like."—the famous chamber music scholar Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Handbook for Piano Trio Players.
Toivo Kuula (1883-1918) was born in the Finnish town of Vaasa, then part of the Russian empire, at that time known as the Grand Duchy of Finland. As a boy, he studied the violin and took singing lessons. Subsequently, he studied composition with Jean Sibelius. Though primarily known for his songs and choral works, he wrote several pieces for violin and piano as well as this piano trio which dates from 1909 at which time he was studying with Sibelius.
The piano trio has been unavailable for the better part of a century. We have reprinted the one and only edition