Piano Trio in A Major, Op.12 No.1
Adalbert Gyrowetz (1763-1850) was born in the Bohemian town Budweis, then part of the Austrian Habsburg empire and today known as Budějovice in the Czech Republic. He was also known by the Czech form of his name Jirovec. He studied violin and voice with his father, a choirmaster. Gyrowetz traveled throughout Europe, residing for periods in Vienna, Paris, London, Rome, Naples and several other major European cities. He knew and was friendly with Haydn and Mozart, the former whose style his closely resembles. Several of Gyrowetz's symphonies were published under Haydn's name by unscrupulous publishers trying to make an extra buck. Mozart thought enough of Gyrowetz's symphonies to perform several of them in concerts in Vienna. Gyrowetz, like most of his contemporaries, was a prolific composer writing some 400 works, among them 60 symphonies, and hundreds of chamber works including 40 piano trios.
Most of his piano trios date from the 1780's to the first decade of the 1800's and were styled by him as Haydn had styled his own piano trios, that is as sonatas for Piano, Violin and Cello. The Opus 12 trios were a set of three which date from 1792 and which were published a few years later. Scholars believe that he brought them with him to England and they are in the so-called English style of the time, the same as Haydn's London trios. This style is sometimes referred to as the 'orchestral touch' as they attempted to create the brilliant sound of the new overtures which were then the rage in England. Records showed that both Gyrowetz's and Haydn's piano trios were often performed on the program at Johann Peter Salomon's famous Professional Concert Series in the Hanover Square Rooms, sometimes with the both composers taking the stage to play the piano parts.
Op.12 No.1, the first of the set begins with a lively Allegro and is followed by an Adagio titled Air Ecossoise, a tip of the cap to his British hosts. The finale is a spirited Allegretto.
As such, this trio is not only historically important but on its own pleasing to play and hear. Our new edition is based on the first edition which appeared in Vienna in 1795.