Piano Trio No.1 in F Major, Op.25
Georg Schumann (1866-1952) was born in the German town of Konigstein. He was born into a musical family. His father was the town Music Director and he initially studied piano and violin with him. He studied organ in Dresden and then entered the Leipzig conservatory where he studied piano with Reinecke and composition with Salomon Jadassohn. He became a brilliant pianist and started off on a solo career but later branched off and enjoyed a conducting career in Bremen and later Berlin where he also taught. He composed throughout his life and he was especially fond of chamber music and composed two piano trios, two piano quintets, a piano quartet and some instrumental sonatas.
Schumann's First Piano Trio dates from 1899. Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Handbook for Piano Trio Players describes the trio as follows:
“From Georg Schumann, a finely trained Romantic period composer and a master of compositional technique we have two noteworthy and outstanding piano trios to treasure. His First Trio begins with a beautiful sounding Allegro amabile which leaves us marveling at his art. The development and contrasting material are masterfully handled. The second movement, Andante con espression, begins with a warm-blooded melody which is seamlessly passed from voice to voice and then later interrupted by a somewhat nervous con moto impetuoso section. The third movement, Allegretto grazioso, is closer to an intermezzo than a scherzo. There is a pastoral quality to its noble melodies and a passionate and contrasting middle section. In the finale, Moderato and then Presto, the composer shares his humor with the musicians beginning with cadenzas. This is a real show piece and though be no means easy, it is well within the reach of competent amateur players as well."
We feel that this trio deserves the sobriquet of masterpiece and cannot understand how it has been ignored for the better part of a century, at least outside of Germany. It has been unavailable for many decades. We have reprinted the first and only edition, but have corrected a few mistakes and added rehearsal numbers.