Piano Trio in g minor, Op.1
Hermann Goetz (1840-1876) studied theology and mathematics in Königsberg where he was born. Eventually he switched to music and attended the Stern Conservatory in Berlin where he studied with the founder Julius Stern, as well as Hans von Bülow and Hugo Ulrich. In 1862, he succeeded Theodor Kirchner as organist at the church in Winterthur.
His only piano trio, which was dedicated to von Bülow, dates from 1867. It is a very impressive Opus 1 and one is forced to assume there were many other works which proceeded this very mature work.
The opening movement to the trio, Adagio-Con fuoco, begins with a slow and brooding introduction. This is followed by the highly dramatic and emotional main section which entirely fulfills the promise hinted at in the introduction. Next comes a slow, valedictory adagio, Molto tranquillo. The duet-style string writing is particularly beautiful. The third movement, Leggiero ma agitato, is an original-sounding scherzo. The finale, Allegro moderato, vivace, also opens in a brooding manner with shades of the Mendelssohn Op.49 trio, but a sunny second subject quickly chases away the clouds.
Although this is an early work, it is also a very fine one. Suitable for both professionals and amateurs.