Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf
String Trio in D Major
Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf (1739-1799) was born in Vienna and was recognized as a child prodigy on the violin and one of the great violin virtuosos of the 18th century. The first part of his life was spent as a touring virtuoso and in especially in Italy he enjoyed many triumphs. The second half of his life was spent as a composer and music director at various aristocratic courts. His output voluminous and he is generally regarded after Mozart and Haydn as one of the most important representatives of the Vienna Classical era. Originally, his music showed the influence of the Italian composers but as time went by his familiarity with the compositions of Mozart and Haydn greatly changed his compositional style. He knew both men personally and the three of them sometimes performed string quartets in Vienna along with Vanhal. Dittersdorf played first violin, Haydn second violin, Mozart viola and Vanhal played cello.
The String Trio in D Major is from Dittersdorf middle period. He has turned away from the Italian school of composition and has adopted the Mannheim style which both Mozart and Haydn did during the 1770's and which eventually developed in the style we now call Vienna Classic. The trio, which is thought to date from the mid 1770's, is in three movements. The opening Allegro is bright and full of energy. A very classical Menuetto follows. It takes a country folk melody or Lšndler and creates a courtly dance. In the lovely trio, the cello is given a wonderful chance to shine. The sparkling finale, a Presto, moves quickly forward in the best tradition of the classical rondo and is full of light-hearted excitement.
This is a fine representative work of the early classical era which string trio players should find quite enjoyable.