String Trio in g minor, Op.5 No.3
For Violin, Viola & Cello
This is the last of a set of three Beethoven-inspired string trios which BoŽly composed in 1808. Beethoven's 1799 Op.9 trios served as his example. That Beethoven served as his model was quite extraordinary for this was at a time when Beethoven and his music were entirely unknown in France and virtually no else, with the exception of the unknown Hyacinthe Jadin, was writing string trios. All three of these trios are substantial.
Alexandre BoŽly (1785-1858) was clearly an extraordinary man who truly marched to his own drum beat. Such independence of thought and taste led to his losing a prestigious position as an organist in one of France's leading churches for championing the music of Bach. Today, BoŽly is remembered as one of France's greatest organists from the first half of the 19th century. He was born at Versailles into a family of musicians. He excelled on the organ and piano and most of his compositions are for these instruments. However, he did write five string trios and four string quartets, which are among his most interesting works.
The opening movement, Allegro agitato, dispenses with any introduction and immediately plunges into the downward-plunging turbulent theme much in the way Beethoven did in his Op.9 No.3 c minor trio. A second theme is more lyrical and has a serenade quality to it. The trio dispenses with a true slow movement and instead opts for an, Andante con moto, the lovely main theme to which requires that brisk pace be kept. The Scherzo which follows again recalls Beethoven in its exciting treatment of its main theme. The lilting rhythm of the finale, Allegro ma non troppo, is a rondo.
Along with its two companion trios, this trio qualifies as another welcome edition to the trio repertoire from the late classical and early romantic period.