Carl Maria von Weber
Trio for Flute or Violin, Cello & Piano, Op.63
The musical reputation of Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) rests almost entirely on his famous operas Die Freischutz and Oberon and a few other works such as his clarinet concertos. But Weber’s music by and large is unknown to present day players and listeners, which is a pity since it is uniformly well-written, particularly for wind instruments. Chamber music, however, comprises only a very small part of his oeuvre. There are only three works which qualify as chamber music—his Piano Quartet, his Clarinet Quintet and this work for Flute (or Violin), Cello and Piano.
Weber studied with Michael Haydn in Salzburg the Abbe Vogler in Vienna, two of the leading teachers of their day. He pursued a career as a conductor and music director holding posts in Breslau, Prague, Berlin and Dresden.
The Op.63 Trio was composed in 1819 while Weber was serving as music director in Dresden. In four movements, the first, Allegro moderato, is more moderato than allegro and has an air of melancholy and contemplation. Next comes a short, martial Scherzo. The third movement, The Shepherd’s Lament, is in the tradition of the French Air Pastorale, evocative of a rustic scene with a lonely shepherd, playing a song-like ballad on his flute. The finale, also an Allegro, displays Weber’s gift for melody and invention.
This is a valuable addition to the small repertoire for flute, cello and piano, which sounds equally as fine when performed as a standard piano trio.