String Trio for 2 Violins & Cello "Die gute alte Zeit", Op.77
Lachner's Die gute alte Zeit (The Good Old Time) for 2 Violins and Cello dates from 1874. He subtitled it Musikalischer Scherz--a musical treasure. It is pretty clear that Lachner intended the work as a kind of gentle parody in the spirit of Mozart's A Musical Joke (The Village Musicians). The trio, which is in three movements---Maestoso, quasi andantino, Andantino and Allegro giocoso---is meant to be a work from the Baroque era. Lachner left a note to the players at the bottom of the first violin part. "Composer's Note: The performance markings should be followed exactly since this will demonstrate the baroque style of playing. But the playing is meant to be a caricature." Much of Lachner's dry humor is lost to 21st century ears, in the same way that few today can hear the humor or parody in Mozart's Musical Joke. Despite this, the writing is rather good and as such deserves republication for this little served combination.
Ignaz Lachner (1807-1895) was the second of the three famous Lachner brothers. Ignaz was taught (as were the others) organ, piano and violin. Upon the latter instrument, he was somewhat of a prodigy. He eventually joined his older brother Franz in Vienna where he became a close friend of Schubert's and fell under the influence of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. He composed a considerable amount of music, much of it chamber music, including seven string quartets.