Five Skizzen (Sketches) for String Trio, Op.23
Julius Eichberg (1824-1893) was born in the German city of Düsseldorf. He attended the Musical Academy of Würzburg as a child. Upon the recommendation of Felix Mendelssohn, he entered the Brussels Conservatoire at the age of nineteen, where he studied violin de Bériot and composition Fétis. After taking the first prize in both subjects, he was appointed to a professorship at the Conservatoire of Geneva. In 1857 he came to the United States, staying for a year in New York City before moving to Boston, where he founded and directed the Boston Conservatory of Music. He also served for many years as superintendent of music in the Boston Public Schools. Eichberg published several educational works on music and was known for his operettas.
His 5 Skizzen (Five Sketches) for String Trio were first published in 1857 and were composed shortly before he left for America. The first movement, Allegro spirituoso, as the marking suggested is spirited and full of forward motion. A pastoral Andante quasi allegretto follows. The middle movement, Eichberg subtitles Waldnacht—forest night. It is darkly hued but not certainly not gloomy. This is followed by a sprightly movement titled Mährchen, an archaic spelling of the word Märchen, meaning fairy tales. The finale, Vivace is also given a title, Genuesischen Ständchen—a Genoese Serenade.
Perhaps Eichberg should have entitled this work Suite for String Trio, for that is what it is. It makes a fine mid-romantic era choice for a concert program. It presents no technical difficults and should certainly appeal to amateurs. Unavailable for well over 100 years, we have reprinted the original edition adding rehearsal letters.