Romanza for Piano Trio
Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861) is yet another important composer from the 19th century who was unjustly shoved aside into oblivion in the 20th. Marschner was, during the last half of his life, universally regarded as the leading composer of German opera. Marschner received useful advice and support from Beethoven, was a colleague and rival of Weber’s and a friend of Mendelssohn. Though he considered himself primarily a composer of opera, he did write 7 piano trios and 2 piano quartets. These did not escape the notice of Schumann who praised the piano trios lavishly.
The lovely second movement, Andante con moto (Romanza), from Marschner's Trio No.5, dating from the late 1840's, is the only piece of his chamber music to have survived into the early 20th century, where, before the First World War, it was occasionally heard as an encore piece.
The ideas and writing are stunningly impressive. While there may be pieces from this period which equal it, there is nothing better. The absolute epitome of mid-19th century romanticism. It begins with a highly romantic vocal solo for the cello with the piano in the background. After some minutes the violin takes over the thread but soon all three are equally singing away. A stormy middle section brings the music to a dramatic high point before it softly closes. A superb gem which could serve any professional trio as an encore and bring joy to all trio parties.