Piano Trio No.3 in B flat Major, Op.121
"Rheinberger's Piano Trio No.3, composed in 1881 even today, more than fifty years after it was published, is still acquiring new friends. The first movement, Allegretto amabile, with its heart-warming main theme, is quite charming. The lovely second movement, Andantino entitled Romanze, is a very fine piece of writing. A scherzo, Allegro, comes next with a playful main theme as well as a winning lyrical second melody. In the finale, Con moto, Rheinberger, the catchy main theme and the vamping second theme are a treat for the ear. The music reveals tremendous tonal beauty along with outstanding compositional technique. This trio, of course, belongs in the concert hall, but will also be treasured by amateurs."---Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Handbook for Piano Trio Players.
Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901) was born in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein. He started piano and organ lessons at age five and his immense talent was immediately discovered, resulting in a scholarship which allowed him to study at the Royal Conservatory in Munich with Franz Lachner, one of Schubertís close friends and an important composer in his own right. Rheinberger, who remained in Munich for the rest of his life, holding the position of Professor of Composition at the Conservatory for nearly 40 years. Remembered today only for his organ compositions, which are considered the most important ever written after those of Bach, Rheinberger, during his life time, was a much respected composer, generally ranked after Brahms and Wagner as the most important living German composer. Furthermore, he was also widely regarded as the leading teacher of composition during most of his lifetime.
We agree with Herr Altmann, this fine work belongs in the repertoire and will find many friends among amateur trio groups as well. Like all of Rheinberger's piano trios, this work has been hard to obtain and often out of print.