Kaspar Jakob Bischoff
String Trio in c minor, Op.59
Kaspar Jakob Bischoff (1823-1893) was born in the German city of Ansbach. He pursed a career as a composer and teacher of piano. In 1854, he composed his String Trio in c minor, Op.5. This trio was entered in a competition and received first prize from the judges, Franz Lachner, Louis Spohr and Josef Strauss. It is somewhat surprising that it has found no modern reprint.
It is a substantial four movement work that begins with an impressive Beethovian Adagio introduction. The main section is a passionate Allegro vivace, which has many attractive subjects. The slow movement, Adagio, with its pathos, again recalls Beethoven. (the piano sonata Pathetique and also the slow movement of Op.18 No.3) The scherzo, Allegro, is in 5/8, which must have been unusual for the time, as the publisher includes two whole paragraphs from the composer, informing players how it is to be done. Bischoff appears to have had Beethovenís Op.18 No.4 in mind, but nonetheless the music is original and not imitative. The finale, Allegro, also has appealing melodic material.
Unavailable for many years, the work makes a worthwhile edition to the string trio literature. With good part-writing, all of the voices are generously treated and are manageable by amateur players.