Piano Trio No.2 in B flat Major, Op.23
Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) was born in the German city of Leipzig. His father was a violinist and his mother a pianist. He showed musical talent at an early age and was taken to the famed pianist and composer, Carl Reinecke, the director of the Gewandhaus orchestra. Subsequently he studied piano in Munich with Franz Lachner, one of Schubert's closest friends. After a brief stint as a concert pianist, Röntgen moved to Amsterdam and taught piano there, helping to found the Amsterdam Conservatory and the subsequently world famous Concertgebouw Orchestra. He composed throughout his life and especially during his last 10 years after he retired. Though he wrote in most genres, chamber music was his most important area.
Röntgen completed his Second Piano Trio in 1894. It was published the following year. The opening Allegro molto is full of rich harmonies and melodies. The second movement, Un poco andante, consists of a three part song, full of yearning. The fetching middle section is particularly noteworthy for its fine use of tonal color. The next movement, Scherzo, has for its main theme a jovial, fleet and very appealing subject. The contrasting trio is calm and somewhat reflective. The finale, Allegro moderato, has a lovely melody for its main theme charged with emotion. It slowly rises to a heroic coda.
This superb work has been out of print for nearly a century and it surely belongs both in the concert hall and on the stands of amateur piano trio players everywhere. As such, we are quite pleased to revive it and warmly recommend it to you. Please note, we worked from a microfilmed copy with a dark background to create the parts. We have lightened the background to a shade of light gray. So while it is not white on white, this in no way affects the readability of the notes which remain quite clear.