Franciszek Lessel, Piano Trio in E Major, Op.5

Franciszek Lessel Franciszek Lessel's Piano Trio in E Major dates from 1807. Based on a letter of recommendation from Haydn, Breitkopf and Härtel agreed to publish the work. It was dedicated to his lover Cecilia Beydale, the illegitimate daughter of Princess Izabela Czartoryska. Although Cecilia had agreed to marry Lessel, her parents put a stop to it due to their difference in birth and Lessel's poor financial condition. The opening Allegro brillante begins with a powerful series of upward scales before the introduction of the lyrical and elegant main theme, characterized by its forward motion as well as several triplet episodes. The second movement, Reve Adagio, as the title suggests, is soft, dream-like and valedictory. The violin brings forth a delicate melody in aria like fashion to the pizzicato in the cello and soft chords in the piano. This goes on for some time but when it finally ends, the cello joins in to make a kind of lovers duet. The third movement is a very classical Allegro di molto full of nervous energy. Polish dance tunes and even a tarantella episode. Haydn had just reason to be proud of his student's trio, a highly effective work full of drama and excitement.

Franciszek Lessel (1780-1838) was born in the Polish city of Warsaw. His first music lessons were with his father, a prominent pianist and composer. In 1799 he went to Vienna where he studied with Haydn for a decade after which he returned to Warsaw pursuing a career as a pianist and composer. Along with Josef Elsner and Ignacy Dobrzynski, Lessel is considered one of the most important Polish composers of the classical era.

This is trio not only historically important because it is one of a very few by a Polish composer from the classical era but on its own strength. It is a work deserving of concert performance and can be recommended to amateurs as well. We have reprinted the original Breitkopf edition, working from a very clean copy. The music is quite readable, but it is a 220 year edition and cannot be compared in any way to a modern edition. Our reduced price reflects this fact.

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