1839: Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49, age 30

Mr. Peabody Says:

Mendelssohn is a prodigy who truly scares me.Just listen to a little of this HERE, written when he was still 13 years old. Ask yourself what you and your friends were doing at age 13. I was out in my cousin’s boat at age 13, Writing symphonies? Mastering several instruments? No.

A trio of scary teens:

The first is Mozart, and we all know about him, dead at age 35. Then Schubert, dead at age 31. Finally Mendelssohn, dead at age 38. There are many composers who died before the age of 40. Others are Chopin and Gershwin, and there are probably many more I’m forgetting. But Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn all reached a level of maturity and mastery while still in their teens that is humbling.

Start here:

This is the scherzo, only a bit more than three minutes long and it has that light sound that is unique to Mendelssohn. Just think of his “Midsummer’s Night Dream”, which you can here HERE:

  1. Scherzo: Leggiero e vivace (D major)

Kavakos-Hagen-Hamelin

  1. Molto allegro ed agitato (D minor)
  2. Andante con moto tranquillo (B-flat major)
  3. Scherzo: Leggiero e vivace (D major)
  4. Finale: Allegro assai appassionato (D minor, ending in D major)

I found this group yesterday and made a note to listen to the Mendelssohn, which is entirely new to me. There is so much amazing music that I’ve never heard.

Instruments:

  • violin
  • cello
  • piano

Very popular:

The trio is one of Mendelssohn’s most popular chamber works and is recognized as one of his greatest along with his Octet, Op. 20.

Revision, and Schumann:

During the initial composition of the work, Mendelssohn took the advice of fellow composer Ferdinand Hiller to revise the piano part.

Schumann had nothing but praise for Mendelssohn’s trio in its revised version, which is not surprising given the tremendous respect both composers had for each other.

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