Given the extent of Granados’s activity as a chamber musician, it is curious that he contributed relatively few original works to the genre. Premiered in 1895, the Piano Trio is an important composition, all the more valuable for the overall paucity of chamber music produced by the Spanish nationalist school. The trio presents an amalgamation of many familiar threads of Granados’s compositional style: virtuosic piano writing, a grounding in mainstream European Romanticism, a generalized nationalistic flavor, a more explicitly Catalan regional color, and a cyclical handling of large-scale form.
The trio did not enjoy a significant performance history, and was not published until 1976. Full of typographical errors and lacking source documentation, the first edition was superseded by authoritative critical urtexts, published by Edicions Tritó and Casa-Boileau in 2013. Still, numerous notational dilemmas persist, and the overall aesthetic cohesiveness of the work remains a challenge to potential interpreters.
The present paper situates Granados’s sole essay for piano, violin and cello in the context of his overall output, as an antecedent to the more refined handling of many of the same compositional traits in the Goyescas and other more mature compositions. It also seeks to elucidate both practical and conceptual obstacles to the trio’s integration into the repertory, including a thorough comparison of inconsistencies among source materials.