Constantin von Sternberg, Piano Trio No.3 in C Major, Op.104

Constantin von Sternberg Constantin von Sternberg (1852-1924) was born in the then Russian capital St. Petersburg of ethnic German parents. He was given piano lessons locally but then at the age of 13 entered the Leipzig Conservatory where he studied piano and composition with Ignaz Moscheles, Moritz Hauptmann, and Carl Reinecke. After two years, he left and as a mere 16 year old obtained conducting positions in various organizations in Leipzig and Wurzburg. In 1871, he moved to Berlin and took further piano lessons from Theodor Kullack after which he embarked on several concert tours taking him throughout Europe, Asia and the United States where he settled in the early 1880s eventually becoming an American citizen. He became director of the College of Music in Atlanta and then in 1890 founded the Sternberg School of Music in Philadelphia.

His Piano Trio No.3 in C Major was published in 1912. The opening movement, Allegro con spirito, appeals by virtue of the dance-like elegance of its fetching thematic material. The middle movement, Andante-Tema con variazione, is full of charm and even includes an Austrian Ländler as one of the variations. The finale, marked Rondo umore (with humor) features all three instruments jousting for the melody and finally coming together for a rousing finish.

This is a highly appealing work which will charm audiences in the concert hall and can be warmly recommended to amateur players as it presents no technical difficulties.

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