FREDA TOWNSON (Mezzo-Soprano). KEK-NETH SKEAPING (Violin), EDWARD ROBIN son (Violoncello), ANGUS MORRISON (Pianoforte)
KENNETH SKEAPING, EDWARD ROBINSON and ANGUS MORRISON
A COMPARATIVELY late work of Brahms, this Trio has from the outset a sense of real bigness. The violin and violoncello alone begin the first big subject in octaves, and the second, more smoothly. flowing, grows out of it so naturally that when the pianoforte begins it, it seems to be a continuation of the first. It is a long and elaborate movement, coming to nn end with a quicker section in which the pianoforte has a strenuous part while the strings have a slower melody.
The theme of the slow movement has that simple folk-song character which Brahms so often contrives to give his tunes. As in the first movement, the two strings begin in octaves while the pianoforte accompanies with chords. Another tune appears first as a pianoforte solo, and the opening returns in a more vigorous form. Then there is a flowing, tranquil section, with a tune which the violoncello begins, to be followed by the violin.
The most striking feature of the Scherzo is the figure made up of rapidly repeated notes played by the strings while the pianoforte rushes upwards in scales. The Trio has a fine. song-like melody which the violin begins with rippling accompaniment, and the Scherzo is repeated.
Again in the last movement the two strings play the first big theme in octaves at the outset while the pianoforte accompanies, and it is they also who introduce the second principal tune, another broad melody. Like the first, the movement is-an elaborate one, but, with the two tunes in mind, it is easy to follow and to enjoy...
So far as we know, Mozart's pianoforte trios, of which there are only a few as compared with his many string quartets and symphonies, were specially written for his friends, and had their first performances at private music-makings. Two of them-this, and the one in C—have apparently been re-arranged, rather hurriedly, from earlier pieces originally composed for pianoforte solo. Mozart probably played the pianoforte part himself and no doubt wrote it accordingly : the instrument certainly has much the biggest share in all the trios. None the less, the violin and violoncello are very sympathetically treated, and in this G Major trio make admirable use of their melodious qualities.
There arc three movements : a light-hearted allegro, an andante with a set of simple variations, and an allegretto whose chief theme, like many of Mozart's, sounds like a merry English folk tune.