Piano Trio No.2 in E flat Major, Op.62
Giuseppe Martucci (1856-1909) was born in the southern Italian city of Capua. His father was a bandmaster and gave him his first music lessons on the piano. When it was discovered that the boy was prodigy, he was sent to the Naples Conservatory at the age of 11. Before he could graduate, his father, seeing his son's amazing talent, decided to cash in and started him on a successful concert career. Martucci became well-known as a concert artist throughout Europe and his playing was admired by Franz Liszt and Anton Rubinstein among others. However, later when he became of age and gained independence from his father, he worked as a professor at the Naples Conservatory, virtually ending his concert career. Besides being an important teacher, he also became the conductor of the Naples Symphony Orchestra and later the Liceo Musicale Bolognese orchestra. He is recognized as an important late 19th century Italian composer and was considered the leader of the group of Italian composers determined to break away from the dominance of opera in Italy and to restore instrumental music to its rightful place.
Piano Trio No.2 was written in 1883 almost immediately after his first piano trio. It is written on a large scale and all of the movements are substantial. A big, leisurely Allegro introduces a very lyrical and lazy melody. One hears the influence of Brahms. A Scherzo-Allegro follows. It is rather more subdued, again a la Brahms, than the average scherzo. The contrasting trio is a marvelous other-worldly theme given to the strings over the piano. Next is an Adagio filled with lovely themes and faint echoes of Brahms. The Finale, Allegro vivace, is an energetic affair, quite original, with a splendid conclusion.
We have reprinted the original edition but have added rehearsal letters and corrected a few mistakes. Long out of print, we are pleased to make this wonderful piano trio available once again and warmly recommend it to both professionals and amateurs.