"Carmen" String Trio No.2 in D Major, Op.41
"I can recommend Adolphe Blanc's Second String Trio, Op.41 in A major without reservation. It is in no way difficult to play and effective throughout. Blanc structurally follows the Classical model in this four movement work. But unlike classical era trios, here, each instrument is given its due in a work which is good to hear as well as play. The first movement, Allegro moderato, though simple and straight forward is nonetheless charming and appealing. Even better is the Allegro vivace scherzo with its lyrical trio section, which comes next. Especially beautiful from a tonal standpoint is the third movement, Adagio religioso with its noble theme. Best of all is the finale, Rondo espagnol, rich in invention and in its Spanish tonal color. It's so well-done, one can imagine a guitar playing."---Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Chamber Music Handbook.
Adolphe Blanc (1828-1885) was born in the French town of Manosque. His musical talent was recognized early and he entered the Paris Conservatory at age 13 first taking a diploma in violin and then studying composition with the then famous composer Fromental Halevy. Although for a time, he served as a music director of a Parisian theater orchestra, he primarily devoted himself to composing and most of his works were for chamber ensembles. During his lifetime, these works were much appreciated by professionals and amateurs alike and in 1862 he won the prestigious Chartier Chamber Music Prize. Besides the fact that his works are pleasing and deserving of performance, Blanc's historical importance cannot be underestimated. He was one of the very few in France trying to interest the public, then with only ears for opera, in chamber music. He paved the way for the success of the next generation of French composers.
We have dubbed this trio the "Carmen" because in the finale the music so vividly recalls not only Bizet's opera but also the music of L'Arlesienne. We have reprinted the original 1860 but have added rehearsal letters. This is a real find for trio ensembles. An effective choice for a concert program and fun to play at home.