From My Youth, Op.5 Nos.5-8
Suite of Miniatures for Piano Trio
Mortimer Wilson (1876-1932) who was born in Chariton, Iowa and first studied organ, violin and composition at the Chicago Musical College before attending the Leipzig Conservatory where he studied with Hans Sitt and Max Reger. Upon returning to the U.S., he taught at the Atlanta Conservatory and conducted the Atlanta Philharmonic before taking a job as a consulting editor for the National Academy of Music in New York.
Most of his works remain in manuscript, however, his Suite of Miniatures for Piano Trio, From My Youth, Op.5 was published in 1911. It consists of four very short movements which wonderfully conjure up memories from childhood. The first, entitled Funeral of a Calico Cat, is reminiscent of Charles Alkanís Marcia Funebre sulla Morte d'un Pappagallo, with its somber but mawkish mood. At the end, the violin gives out a few sad meows. This is followed by Love Song of an Alpine Doll, a lovely 19th century, Central European loversí duet, played by the strings. Next is Tin Soldier Dress Parade which starts with a bugle call played by the violin on harmonics. The piano enters and we are treated to a playful toy march, expertly handled. The last piece, Over the Little Blue Tea Set, has, for its time, a rather modern, urban, socialite sound to it. The Chamber Music Journal praised the Suite, calling it quite attractive and clever.
This is a lovely little set of miniatures, quite original. Any of the four would make a good encore and together, as they were intended, the Suite provides a pleasant short program work which would work well between two longer pieces. Out of print for many years, we are pleased to bring it back.