Piano Trio No.1 in c minor, Op.9
"It is entirely unjust that Dietrich's two piano trios have been forgotten. Piano Trio No.1, his Op.9, appeared in 1855 and not surprisingly shows the influence of his teacher Schumann. The main theme of the big first movement, Allegro appassionato, is filled with noble passion while the more lyrical second subject also expresses deep feelings. Both are beautiful and charming and the development is also well done. The very romantic introductory theme of the very poetic second movement, Adagio espressivo, non troppo lento. It is followed by a sweet Moderato quasi Allegretto which is basically an intermezzo. It is here and in the trio section with its winning melody that one clearly hears Schumann's influence. The huge finale, Allegro molto vivace has a lilting melody for its main theme and another lyrical second theme of deep feelings."---the famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Handbook for Piano Trio Players
Albert Dietrich (1829-1908) was born in the German town of Golk near Meissen. Today, he is chiefly remembered as being a contributor to the famous collaborative FAE Violin Sonata. He first studied at the Leipzig Conservatory and then continued his composition studies with Robert Schumann in Dusseldorf. He not only became good friends with Schumann and his wife Clara, but also with Brahms and the violinist Joseph Joachim. It was Schumann who suggested that he, Brahms and Dietrich together should write a sonata for Joachim as a surprise. Joachim had recently separated from his wife and the sonata came to be known as the FAE--Frei aber einsam (free but lonely). Dietrich was one of Brahms' closest friends and wrote an important biography of him. He enjoyed a long career as a music director and composer.
This is a first rate piano trio from the mid romantic era which is deserving of concert performance and would be a triumph if presented. It is no way beyond amateurs who are also encouraged to make its acquaintance.