String Trio in G Major, Op.24 No.2
For 2 Violins & Cello
Hubert Ries (1802-1886) was the youngest son of the Franz Anton Ries who was music director in Bonn where Beethoven played in his orchestra. Hubertís older and better known brother Ferdinand Ries was a piano virtuoso and composer who studied with Beethoven in Vienna. Hubert, after studying violin with his father, continued his violin studies with Ludwig Spohr and took composition lessons from the well know teacher Moritz Hauptmann, He spent most of his life in Berlin where he enjoyed a career as a concertmaster for various orchestras, and then later served as director of the Berlin Philharmonic Society. He also served as the of one of Berlinís leading string quartets for many years. He was also a noted teacher whose pedagogical works are still used.
Although he wrote two violin concertos, most of his compositions are for chamber music ensembles. He had several string quartets and trios to his credit. This trio is a romantic era work in the style of Schumann and Mendelssohn and dates from the mid 19th century. Op.24 No.2 in G Major is the second of a set of three which was published in 1874 though most likely it was composed decades earlier. In three movements it begins with a lively Allegro moderato. The middle movement Andante con variazione is a set of variations on a Rhenish folk tune. The finale, and is followed by a thrusting and muscular Scherzo. The third movement is a jollly Allegretto.
This is a worthwhile addition to a little served combination, especially during the romantic era. Though this trio was no doubt aimed at amateurs and the home music making market, it is so well written that it certainly is good enough to take a place on a recital program.