String Trio No.4 in F Major
Peter Hänsel (sometimes spelled Haensel, 1770-1831) was born in the town Leppe in what was then Prussian Silesia. He was trained as a violinist and worked in Warsaw and St. Petersburg before obtaining employment in Vienna where he studied composition with Haydn during the 1790’s. Other than two years he spent in Paris during 1802-1803, his entire life was spent in Vienna, working as a violinist and composer. He devoted himself almost exclusively to the genre of chamber music, writing nearly 60 string quartets, 6 string trios, 5 string quintets and works for several other small ensembles. His style remained firmly rooted in the classical era and is closely related to that of his teacher Haydn but he also introduced French and Polish elements into his works, the result of his sojourning in those lands.
Hänsel's six string trios were published in two sets of three. The first, which was for 2 violins and cello, appeared in 1811. A second set, his Op.40, were composed in the year of his death and were not published in his lifetime. The composer’s manuscript is in the library of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. Our edition is based on that manuscript. The opening movement to Trio No.4, Allegro, flows effortless along with its lovely Mozartean melodies. Next comes an Andante con moto. Its theme is simplicity itself. The naïve melody is slowly developed drifting in the minor and the running triplet accompanying lines give a surprising effect. The effective Menuetto allegro which is placed third takes a page from Haydn. The satisfying finale, Presto, is a fitting conclusion to this fine classical trio.