La Course en Traineau for Cello & Piano
Jacques Offenbach (1819-1881) is known by one and all as the famous composer of operettas. What is not known is that he was first a concert cellist, who made his living playing in orchestras, giving solo recitals with accompanists such as Franz Liszt and Anton Rubinstein! He wrote several works for cello and piano intended for the recital hall, most of which he himself premiered.
La Course en Traineau (variously translated in English as Sleigh or Sled Race or Trip) was composed in 1849 at which time Offenbach was primarily engaged in giving solo concerts. It is a little showcase for cello, by turns lively and exciting as one might expect from the title. But there are also slower lyrical episodes to be found in the middle sections.
It is a shame that this fine work has been left out of the standard recital albums for cello for it is certainly as fine as most of the pieces to be found there. Written for cellists by a cellist who was a first rate composer, this is a work cellists will not want to miss.