Piano Trio No.1 in F Major, Op.16
Salomon Jadassohn (1831-1902) was born to a Jewish family living in Breslau, the capital of the Prussian province of Silesia. First educated locally, Jadassohn enrolled at the Leipzig Conservatory in 1848, just a few years after it had been founded by Mendelssohn. There he studied composition with Moritz Hauptmann, Ernst Richter and Julius Rietz as well as piano with Ignaz Moscheles. At the same time, he studied privately with Franz Liszt in Weimar. He spent much of his career teaching piano and composition at the Leipzig Conservatory. Over the years, he became a renown pedagogue, and Grieg, Busoni, Delius, Karg-Elert, Reznicek and Weingartner were among his many students. Jadassohn wrote over 140 works in virtually every genre, including symphonies, concertos, lieder, opera and chamber music, the latter being among his finest compositions. Considered a master of counterpoint and harmony, he was also a gifted melodist, following in the tradition of Mendelssohn. But one also hears the influence of Wagner and Liszt, whose music deeply impressed him.
Jadassohn and his music were not better known primarily for two reasons: The first being Carl Reinecke and the second being the rising tide of anti-semitism in late 19th century Wilhemine Germany. Reinecke was almost Jadassohn's exact contemporary and somewhat of a super-star. Not only was he a world famous piano virtuoso but also an important professor at the Leipzig Conservatory and later its director. If this were not enough, he served as the conductor of the renowned Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Under these circumstances, it was hard for a colleague to get the public's attention.
But the famed chamber music expert Wilhelm Altmannn, writing in his Handbook for Piano Trio Players has this to say about Piano Trio No.1:
“Although Jadassohn is still remembered today (written in 1937) as a great composition teacher, he is all but forgotten as a composer. This is extremely unjust. Amateurs, especially, will get great pleasure from his First Piano Trio, Op.16 which dates from 1859. This very melodic trio shows the influence of Mendelssohn and Niels Gade. The first movement, Allegro tranquillo, shows Jadassohn already in full command of good compositional technique. It is a fine-sounding movement. The opening to the second movement, Andantino, reminds one of the slow movement to Schubert's Great C Major Symphony, but with a somewhat Nordic tone coloring. The finale, Allegro grazioso, reminds one of Carl Reissiger. The lyrical main theme is especially beautiful. The whole trio plays and sounds well and all of the parts are not only grateful to play but present no technical difficulties."
We have taken the first and only edition and have added rehearsal numbers. Here is a lovely work from the mid-romantic era which is sure to please either at home or in concert.