Grand Trio for Clarinet, Cello & Piano, Op.36
There is no composer whose works were more frequently passed off as Mozart's than Anton Eberl (1765-1807). Even more surprising was the documented fact that there was no protest from Mozart against the use of his name on Eberl's compositions. Eberl, a friend and student of the great man, did mind but was too timid to take action until after Mozart had died. Finally, he published the following notice in a widely read German newspaper ,
"However flattering it may be that even connoisseurs were capable of judging these works to be the products of Mozart, I can in no way allow the musical public to be left under this disillusion."
Despite this, his works still continued to be published under Mozart's name. This in itself was a reliable indication as to the contemporary opinion of the quality of Eberl's works but we also have contemporary critical reviews of his works such as that of the influential Berlin Musical Journal which wrote these words in 1805 after a performance of his new Symphony,
"Since the symphonies of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, nothing but this symphony has been written which could be placed along side theirs."
Eberl was born in Vienna and studied piano and composition from several teachers, including Mozart. Besides being an outstanding composer, he was a pianist of the first rank and toured throughout Europe. He wrote well over 200 works and in nearly every genre. The opus numbers given to his works bear no relation to reality.
The Grand Trio for Clarinet, Cello & Piano, though marked Op.36, is a late work dating from 1806, the year before Eberl's sudden death from scarlet fever. An opus number in the 200's would have been more accurate. Though primarily classical in nature, there are the stirrings of early romanticism in the music. In particular, the treatment of the cello is far in advance of all of Mozart's piano trios as well as Beethoven's first set of piano trios. A brief Andante introduction leads to the Allegro con spirito which is the main theme (where our sound-bite starts) of the first movement. Hearing the lovely melodies and the grace of the writing, it is not hard to see why Eberl's works could so easily be compared to and passed off as Mozart's. The second movement, Adagio non troppo, is an excellent theme and set of variations. Next comes a lively Scherzo. The finale, a spritely Allegretto, is also a loose set of variations.
Our all new and entirely reset edition is based on the original Peters edition of 1807 and has been edited by R.H.R. Silvertrust. Of particular importance is the fact that our edition does not use the "false treble clef" in the cello part which appeared in all of the other previous editions and which has always been a problem for cellists. Instead, we have substituted the bass and tenor clefs which greatly improves the readability. Like all of our editions, this trio is printed on top grade paper with an ornate cover with biographical information about the composer.