George Alexander Osborne
Piano Trio No.3 in G Major, Op.52
George Alexander Osborne (1806-1893) was born in Irish city of Limrick. His first music lessons were with his father, the cathedral organist. Subsequently, he went to Paris where he studied piano with Johann Pixis and Friedrich Kalkbrenner, one of the greatest virtuosos of the first decades of the 19 century. He also studied composition with Joseph Fetis. He became an important soloist in his own right, but also pursued a career as a composer. After living in Paris for a number of years, he returned to London in the 1840's and spent the rest of his life there where for many years he was a leading personality in that city's musical life. He served as both a director of the London Philharmonic and the Royal Academy of Music and for many years hosted his own series of concerts at which he performed his compositions. Osborn composed in most genres but was mostly known for his solo pieces for piano.
Osborne's Third Piano Trio was composed and published in the 1840's. It was his most popular chamber music work and was for many years often performed not only at his own concerts but elsewhere. Osborne's friend Hector Berlioz described the work as "lofty in style and special in design." The trio not only shows the influence of Schubert and Mendelssohn but also from the Italian operas that were then popular in Paris. The opening Moderato has an abundance of lyrical themes as well as some exciting passage work. A rambunctious and Scherzo, which is dominated by its rhythm, follows. The third movement, Adagio, is a Mendelssohnian Song Without Words and one also hears echoes of Rossini and Bellini. The exciting finale, an Allegro, has for its main theme a syncopated gypsy melody and is full of dramatic effects.
This is a work which is sure to make a splash in the concert hall and should be considered by professionals looking for a fresh work from the early romantic era. We have reprinted the original 170 year old edition which, as was typical for that time, neither had rehearsal letters nor a piano score, that is to say, the piano part does not have the string parts. We have added rehearsal letters in all of the parts and have added cues in the piano part.