String Trio in e minor for 2 Violins and Cello, Op.19
Andreas Ehrhardt (1823-1884) pursued a career as a concert violinist and teacher, as well as a composer. He spent the greater part of his life in Hamburg. His Op.19 Trio in e minor for two violins and cello was composed in 1870 and was published in 1877. Writing in his Handbook for Chamber Music Players, the famed critic and chamber music scholar Wilhelm Altmann has this to say about the work
“In 1877 Ehrhardt published his Op.19 Trio for two violins and cello. In it he demonstrates superb compositional technique and handling of the instruments and as such this trio must be counted among the very best for this combination. It is not particularly difficult to play and every instrument is given an important role. In the first movement, Allegro agitato, we find a restless, energetic main theme followed by a more lyrical second subject. It is followed by a warm Largo con espressione. A spirited Scherzo, allegro molto, comes next. The work concludes with a fleet Presto, perhaps a kind of gigue with a very pleasing lyrical second subject."
While trios for 2 violins and cello were the norm during the 18th century, by the 19th century they were superceded by the trios for violin, viola and cello. After 1800, very few such compositions were composed and after 1850, fewer yet. This fact alone, makes this mid-romantic era trio an important addition to the repertoire. But, in addition, the writing is of the best quality and makes this a work that should be in the collections of chamber music players everywhere.