String Trio in g minor, Op.25 No.1
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. The work opens with a lilting Allegro moderato and is followed by a charming Menuetto and Trio. The finale begins with a somber, even ominous Poco adagio introduction but the main section, Allegretto, is bright and playful rondo.
Here is a worthy 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.