Serenade for Piano Trio
Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937) today is primarily remembered for his organ compositions and as one of the greatest organists of all time. Widor was born in Lyons and studied first studied with his father, also an organist, and then at the Brussels Conservatory. In 1870, upon the recommendation of Charles Gounod and Camille Saint-Saens, he was appointed to the most important position an organist could hold in France, the position of organist at Saint Sulpice Church in Paris. In 1890, he succeeded Cesar Franck as Professor of Organ at the Paris Conservatory and many important composers, including, Darius Milhaud, Louis Vierne, Marcel Dupre, and Edgar Varese, studied with him. He composed throughout his life in virtually every genre and left a considerable amount of chamber music. The fact that his chamber music along with his other non-organ compositions have been ignored is because of his tower contribution to the organ literature. But Cobbett's Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music states that his chamber music is of the first rank and as good as that of Saint-Saens.
Widor came across the genre of character pieces through his association with Liszt. In 1890, he published four short works for piano trio which became known as Quatre Pieces en Trio. The four short pieces were entitled Humoresque, Cantabile, Nocturne and Serenade. However, it appears that none of them were composed at that time. The Serenade, which became the most popular of the four, dates from 1868 and was originally for piano. Itís popularity lead almost immediately to several arrangements, and Widor arranged it himself for piano trio.
Its beautiful, happy singing line with its elegant setting has made it a favorite in the recital hall