Piano Trio No.2 in G Major, Op.112
Scharwenka's Second Piano Trio dates from 1902. The famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Handbook for Piano Trio Players has this to say about it:
“Scharwenka's Second Piano Trio, like that of his First, is not only masterly in form, but spirited and full of noble melodies. I warmly recommend this work to professionals for concert performance but also to amateur players. In the first movement, Allegro moderato, the main theme presented in unison by the strings to the accompaniment of the piano is outstandingly effective. It must be noted that the modulations are particularly attractive as is the lyrical second theme. In the Andante tranquillo that follows, we find the use of the strings in their lower registers particularly striking as is the very appealing second subject. An energetic finale, Allegro con spirito, concludes this fine work. Particularly noteworthy is riveting main theme with the back and forth of the strings. This is set of by a lilting second theme."
Philipp Scharwenka (1847-1917) was born near Posen, then part of Prussian Poland. He moved to Berlin in 1865 to complete his musical education. A good pianist, he primarily devoted himself to composition and teaching at several of Berlin’s leading conservatories, finally joining the faculty and serving as director of the conservatory founded by his younger brother, Xaver. Otto Klemperer was among his many students. During his lifetime, his orchestral compositions were featured regularly in German concert halls, but the common consensus is that his chamber music was his best work. Besides several instrumental sonatas, he wrote two string quartets, three piano trios and a piano quintet.
It is a shame that this wonderful work has disappeared. It has been unavailable for many years now, but we hope that by making it available again both amateurs and professionals will take the time to make its acquainance.