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Piano Trio No. 1 by Louis Spohr. Performed by the Hartley Piano Trio.I. Moderato - 00:00II. Larghetto - 11:12III. Scherzo - 19:24IV. Finale - Vivace - 25:38His first Trio in E minor, Op.119 was completed in May, 1841,and appeared to rapturous acclaim by the critics so that his publisher was soon asking for more. It was not for nothing that the trio was published as Trio Concertant, for, as one reviewer pointed out: "Through all the details of its construction, even to the manner of using the instruments in combination, it has no parallel in the trios of Beethoven, Hummel, Mendelssohn, or any other writer." It was Spohr's specialist knowledge of string techniques which enabled him to give the violin and cello equality with the piano and also to introduce novel sonorities which earlier trio composers scarcely envisaged, such as at times giving the cello the real bass of the ensemble with the pianist's left hand playing well above it.The very opening of the Piano Trio No.1 in E minor, Op. 119 exemplifies the quintessential Spohr emotion of wistful pathos and the work as a whole is a fine expression of its composer's artistic personality. A firmer tone is injected by the march-like second subject which then accompanies scintillating bravura passages - part of the trio's "concertant" ambience. The contrasting moods of the two main themes are closely intertwined until the restrained conclusion. The broad lyrical theme (there is only one) of the slow movement develops a declamatory intensity as it is presented in a variety of settings; again, peace reigns at the end. The Scherzo was an immediate hit; one reviewer wrote: "One wants to hear it again and again" and it has been described both as almost a forerunner of a Slavonic Dance and as jazzily syncopated. In contrast, its Trio has a waltz-like tune on the strings along with a brilliant display by the piano. The finale draws together many strands with a fiery main theme, a more relaxed second subject, possible hints of both the first movement and Scherzo and - a magical moment - the return of the slow movement melody. The closing bars arrive at a peaceful and beautiful resolution.