Piano Trio for Violin, Viola & Piano, Op.30
"This trio will always be accounted one of the composer's happiest inspirations, as much as the ingenuity of the tonal treatment as in the plasticity of the melodic ideas, and in the wealth of imagination displayed in the coloring and rhythms."--Georges Systermans writing in Cobbett's Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music.
Joseph Jongen (1873-1953) was truly born to be a musician. On the strength of an amazing precocity for music, he was admitted to the Liege Conservatory (in Belgium) where he spent the next sixteen years. It came as no surprise when he won the First Prize for Fugue in 1891, an honors diploma in piano the next year and another for organ in 1896. In 1897, he won the prestigious Grande Prix de Rome which allowed him to travel to Italy, Germany and France. He began composing at the age of 13 and immediately exhibited extraordinary talent. By the time he published his opus one, he already had dozens of works to his credit.
The Op. 30 Trio, which dates from 1907. Although it is nearly impossible to tell from listening to it, virtually all of the melodic material is derived from one theme, a simple folk melody from which Jongen manages to draw ever new melodic ideas. The lengthy opening movement, entitled Prelude, consists of two subjects. The heart of the Trio is found in the second movement, a theme and set of variations. The Finale, is actually another variation though not so marked. It is only now that we hear the theme in full.
This Trio is, without doubt, one of the best and most important works for this ensemble. A concert work par excellence, it is in no way beyond the range of experienced amateurs.