Joseph Martin Kraus
Piano Trio in D Major
Joseph Martin Kraus' Piano Trio in D Major dates from 1787 and is believed to be the last of seven such works he composed and the only one to have survived, the others being lost. Kraus was in Vienna during the 1780's and got to know both Mozart and Haydn, the latter with whom he was believed to have studied. Whatever the case, the Piano Trio in D Major bears a remarkable resemblance to the style and melodic language of Haydn. In the three charming movements--Allegro moderato, Larghetto ma poco con moto, and Allegro Ghiribizzo (whimsical)---which are filled with appealing melodies, the piano takes the lead, the violin embellishes and often moves to the front and the cello, in the au courant style of Haydn and Mozart, for the most part, doubles the bass line in the piano.
Joseph Martin Kraus (1756-92) was born in the German town of Miltenberg am Main. He studied violin and piano from a number of local teachers. At the age of 21, he moved to Sweden to make his fortune for the Swedish king was known as a great music lover. He eventually succeeded in gaining the king's favor and was given the chance to travel abroad at the king's expense. During this trip he met Gluck, Albrechtsberger, Mozart and Haydn, all of whom were impressed by his music. A number of scholars believe that he may have studied with Haydn
Here is a good choice where an alternate to a Haydn or Mozart piano trio are desired. It is also an historically important addition to the classical literature of the period.