Erkki Melartin, Six Pieces for Piano Trio, Op.121

Erkki Melartin (1875-1937) was born in the Finnish town of Käkisalmi. He studied with Martin Wegelius in Helsinki and then in Vienna with Robert Fuchs. He pursued a career as a composer, conductor and teacher, serving as the director of the Helsinki Conservatory. He was a prolific composer who wrote in most genres. His music shows the influence of Mahler and is primarily written in the late, post Brahmsian idiom. He did not ignore chamber music and composed a piano quintet, a string quintet, four string quartets and several short works for piano trio. Unfortunately, most of these have remained languishing in manuscript form in libraries and have not been published. His work, as the quartet clearly shows, is quite accomplished and indicates that he was a first rate composer whose music deserves to enter the repertoire and to be heard on a regular basis.

Erkki Melartin's Six Pieces for Piano Trio were originally composed for cello and piano. Shortly after they appeared, his publisher asked if he could make versions for violin and piano and for piano trio. This he did. Each pieces was dedicated to a different person or persons, friends and fellow musicians. Although they were composed in the early 1920s, they are clearly products of the Romantic era, Played together, they are the length of a standard piano trio, but any of the six would make a fine encore. These works are suitable for both professionals and amateur players.

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