Capriccio No.1 in d minor for 3 Violins, Op.2
Friedrich Hermann's Capriccio No.1 in d minor for Three Violins, Op. 2 is the first of three which he wrote for this unusual combination. It dates from 1845. It was premiered at a concert at the Leipzig Conservatory where he was teaching and intended to showcase his talented students. Hermann took the part of third violin for the performance. It opens with a short Adagio introduction. The main section, Allegro, opens with a frantic subject which eventually is followed by a more lyrical melody. The two themes alternate with each other eventually leading to a brilliant conclusion.
Friedrich Hermann (1828-1907) was born in the German city of Frankfurt am Main. He was a student at the Leipzig Conservatory, studying composition with Mendelssohn and Niels Gade and violin with Ferdinand David. After graduating he obtained the position of principal violist of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and at the age of 19 started teaching at the Conservatory where he later became a professor. Besides his work with the Conservatory and the Orchestra, Hermann was a member of the Gewandhaus Quartet. In 1878, in order to devote himself to teaching, composing, and editing, he resigned all appointments except the Conservatory. His work as editor is well known and includes compositions by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven as well as those by the famous violinists such as Kreutzer, Beriot and Rode. In addition to his work as an editor, he composed a symphony, a quartet for wind instruments, and several other chamber music works, which clearly shows his affinity with the new emerging romantic virtuoso style that was part and parcel of 19th century string playing. Among his chamber works are several trios for three violins, a genre which is relatively small. His wonderful handling of the three voices in these works is clearly demonstrated by his ability to interweave three similar timbres.