Suite for 2 Violins & Piano or Piano Trio
The Suite for 2 Violins & Piano was immediately hailed by critics as a spectacular and brilliant work and for many years it remained one of Moszkowski's best known works before sadly disappearing. Recognizing its excellence, Moszkowski's publisher received requests from all quarters to also make a version of the suite for standard piano trio. This was done, which helped it reach a wider audience.
Moritz (Maurice) Moszkowski (1854-1925) was born in Breslau, Prussia (now Wroclaw, Poland). He studied music in Breslau, Dresden and Berlin. He not only enjoyed a career as a brilliant and prominent concert pianist and respected conductor, but was also a fine composer and a first rate teacher. Among his many students were Thomas Beecham, Frank Damrosch, Josef Hofmann and Joaquin Turina.
Although his music is little known today, it was popular during the late nineteenth century. He was quite prolific, composing over two hundred pieces. Of Moszkowski, the famous pianist Paderewski wrote, "After Chopin, he best understands how to write for the piano." Although Moszkowski primarily small scale piano pieces, he also wrote larger scale works including a Piano Concerto, a Violin Concerto, two orchestral suites, a symphony, a ballet and an opera.
His Suite in g minor was one of his last works. The nature of the work can be gleaned right from the opening measures of the first movement, Allegro energico. Gorgeous chordal double stopping in the strings creates a volume of sound hardly imaginable from two instruments. The main theme, romantic and highly attractive, carries all before it. A second theme, just as lovely is more wayward and has a yearning quality to it. The second movement, Allegro moderato, begins in the form of a lyrical waltz, charming and elegant. A slow movement, Lento assai, comes third. After a brief piano introduction, the strings enter with a lovely, but somewhat sad melody. The music is at once reflective and at the same time graceful. The high-spirited finale, Molto vivace, begins with a buoyant and playful subject. The music races along effortlessly until the appearance of the slower and very romantic second subject.
This work is a brilliant tour de force and a sure audience pleaser. Long out of print, we are pleased to make it available in both versions. Professionals and strong amateur players should not miss the opportunity to play this piece.