Piano Trio in d minor, Op.1
Victor Vreuls (1876-1944) was born in the Belgian town of Verviers. He initially studied the violin at the local conservatory and then continued his studies in Liege with Sylvain Dupuis and Jean Radoux. In Paris, he studied with Vincent d'Indy later becoming a professor of harmony at the famous Schola Cantorum and subsequently at the Luxemburg Conservatory of which he served at director for many years. Ihe composed in most genres.
Although it is marked Opus 1, it is hardly Vreul's first work. By the time he came to write his Piano Trio in d minor, he had already composed a prize winning piano quartet and several other works. Nonetheless, as the opus number suggests, the trio is an early work. It was composed in 1896 when Vrculs was barely twenty. The music is full of youthful vigor and reckless abandon. The opening movmeent, lmpetueux, opens in stormy fashion. We encounter many beautiful melodies accompanied by rich harmonies, and frequent tempo shifts. There is even a loval choral section. Two slow, intimate movements follow the tumultuous opening. The ethereal ending of the Moderement lent is particularly effective. The charming third movement, Simple et calme, is relaxed and meditative but always engaging.
This is a work by an important Belgian composer and the trio is a fine representative of the late Franco-Belgian romantic movement. It certainly would do well in concert where it is sure to find appreciative audiences.