When Smetana composed his Piano trio in the autumn of 1855, it was an act of catharsis to recover from the death of his four-year-old daughter Friederike. This highly emotional work was also his first large-scale piece of chamber music. Its first public performance in December 1855 was regrettably not a great success, and so Smetana embarked on a protracted process of reworking it. By the late 1850s, it had reached its current form. Smetana always liked to perform it, but only found a publisher for it in 1880, when one of his pupils invited the Hamburg publisher Hugo Pohle to a performance at short notice. Smetana specialist Milan Pospíšil has based this Henle Urtext edition on the first edition by Pohle, but has also drawn upon the earlier sources. This has enabled him to iron out numerous inconsistencies found in the first edition.
- Piano Trio g minor op. 15
Bedřich Smetana’s (1824 – 84) Trio in g minor for piano, violin and violoncello is the most important composition of his first creative period. This period began in 1847 with the completion of his studies with Joseph Proksch, and ended with his move from Prague to Göteborg in autumn 1856. As the composer noted in his autograph catalogue of works, the Trio was … more
About the composer
His work is regarded as a realization of a Czech nationalist musical style. His oeuvre comprises eight operas, symphonic poems, a little chamber music, numerous piano compositions, several vocal works, and songs.
|1824||Born in Litomyšl on March 2, the son of a beer brewer. Already successful as a pianist during his high school years.|
|1844||Composition pupil of Josef Proksch in Prague. Music teacher to aristocratic families.|
|1848||Music school of his own.|
|1854||Completion of his only symphony, “Triumphal Symphony” in E major, Op. 6.|
|1856–61||Director of the Philharmonic Society in Gothenburg.|
|1858||Symphonic poem “Richard III” and “Wallenstein’s Camp” after Liszt’s example.|
|1861||Return to Prague, involvement in the emergent Czech culture, also as a critic.|
|1866||Music director at the Czech Interim Theater in Prague. Premiere of the operas “The Brandenburgers in Bohemia” and “The Bartered Bride,” the latter to great acclaim; it is his best-known work and regarded as a nationalist opera.|
|1868||Premiere of “Dalibor” as a serious nationalist opera.|
|1869–72||Composition of the opera “Libuše.”|
|1874||Successful premiere in Prague of the opera “The Two Widows.” Loss of hearing and thereby of his music director position. He nevertheless continues to compose.|
|1872–79||Cycle of six symphonic poems “Má vlast” (“My Homeland”) as his most well-known symphonic works, including “Vltava” (“The Moldau”) with passages of tone painting.|
|1876||Premiere in Prague of the popular opera “The Kiss.” String Quartet No. 1 in E minor, “From My Life.”|
|1878||Premiere of the comic opera “The Secret” and the festival opera “Libuše” (1881), which harkens back to a Czech saga.|
|1884||Death in Prague on May 12.|
About the authors
Only the piano part has suggested fingerings, although there are printed bowings in the string parts. The cello part has foldout pages which avoid impossible page turns. This edition is also available in the Henle Library App. You simply can’t go wrong with this publication.