Piano Trio in C Major, Op.29
Dora Pejačevič (1885-1923 until recently spelled Pejacsevich) was born in Budapest, the daughter of an important Croatian aristocrat. Her mother had been a pianist. She studied piano and violin locally before attending various conservatories. At the Munich Conservatory she studied composition with Walter Courvoisier and violin with Henri Petri, although it has been said that she was mostly self-taught. Today, she is considered one Croatia's most important 20th century composers and many of her works, during her lifetime, enjoyed considerable success and were performed throughout Germany, Austria, Hungary and the rest of the Habsburg Empire.
The Piano Trio in C Major, finished in 1910, is actually her second piano trio. Her first effort composed eight years before is not, as is this trio, representative of her mature style as a composer. The opening movement, Allegro con moto, is characterized by its two very attractive and lyrical, flowing themes which are punctuated by a swinging rhythmic development and bridge passages between. A very original Scherzo comes next. Brilliantly conceived, its main theme is playful and its lopsided rhythm attracts attention. Pizzicato is also used to telling effect. The rather more transparent and lyrical trio section provides a fine contrast. A rather extraordinary slow movement, Lento, follows. The music is essentially quite lyrical but constant tempo and key changes create a wide panoply of moods and feelings. The finale, Allegro risoluto, is an energetic affair with several suspenseful and exciting climaxes.
This is a first rate late romantic work which is certain to be a success in the concert hall but is also to be recommended to amateurs. Long out of print, we are pleased to bring it to your attention and to make it available.