String Trio No.1 in E Flat Major, Op.2 No.1
Hyacinthe Jadin (1776-1800) was born in Versailles where his father was a musician in the Royal Orchestra. He was one of five musically gifted brothers, the most famous of which was Louis-Emmanuel Jadin. His first lessons were from his father and Louis-Emmanuel who was four years his senior. Later he was sent to Paris where he studied with Hüllmandel, who had been a student of C.P.E. Bach. The French Revolution put an end to his studies as his teacher fled France. He eked out a living as a pianist and brief taught at the Paris Conservatory. Because of his early death, he did not achieve the same fame as Louis-Emmanuel but the famous music critic Fetis wrote that his chamber music was of a very high standard and deserved to be better known.
Op.2 No.1 is the first in a set of three which was dedicated to his friend the famous violinist Rudolphe Kreutzer. But the trios are not written in concertante from and are not a mere vehicle for the violinist, but rather show a good use of all three instruments. They were composed sometime in the mid 1790’s, before Beethoven wrote his famous Op.8 Serenade or his Op.9 trios. There is some confusion over the opus numbers with regard to these trios and a set of three string quartets which also bear the opus number of 2. Unfortunately, this was not at all an uncommon experience during this period when different publishers brought out a composer's works.
The opening movement, Allegro moderato, to the String Trio in E flat Major opens rather calmly. Its main theme is finely nuanced. It seems clear that Jadin had come into contact with Haydn and Mozart as the music and the handling of the material is closer to the early Viennese classics than to what was being composed all around him in Paris. The second movement is a Haydnesque Minuet. The heavily accented-rhythmic main section is set off by a more plastic trio. An old fashioned Sicilienne serves as slow movement, however, it sounds rather more like a stately minuet rather than an Italian dance. The finale, Allegro, opens with considerable forward propulsion and continues at its quick pace without pausing for breath until it finally reaches a lovely, lyrical middle section.
This is a welcome addition to the late 18th century string trio repertoire. We have reprinted the original edition, adding rehearsal numbers and cleaning up the detritus which accumulated over the past 200 years.