Hermann Berens

Hermann Berens (1826-1880)

Nationality: German | Swedish
Born: April 7, 1826, Hamburg Died: May 9, 1880, Stockholm (age 54)

String Trio in D major, Op. 85, No. 1

(for violin, viola and cello)
8:24 I. Allegro vivace
8:36 II. Andante maestoso
2:36 III. Menuett. Allegro non troppo
6:58 IV. Rondo-Finale. Allegro non troppo
Duration: 26 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1871 (age 44-45)
Published: 1873 (age 46-47)
Dedication: Adolph Berens
1 recording, 4 videos
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Trio ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen
I. Allegro vivace
Trio ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen
II. Andante maestoso
Trio ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen
III. Menuett. Allegro non troppo
Trio ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen
IV. Rondo-Finale. Allegro non troppo
From Edition Silvertrust

This is the first of a set of three mid-romantic period string trios composed by Hermann Berens during the summer of 1871.

Hermann Berens Hermann Berens (1826-1880) was born in Hamburg and studied piano and composition in Carl Gottlieb Reissiger who was the music director and chief conductor in Dresden. During this time, Reissiger employed Wagner as his second conductor. Although Berens undoubtedly got to know Wagner well, there is nothing of Wagner in Berens’ music. Rather, Mendelssohn and Schumann served as his models. spent most of his life in Sweden eventually becoming the director of a prominent Stockholm music drama theater and a professor at the Stockholm Conservatory. In addition to his chamber music, he wrote several operas in Swedish and a considerable amount of piano music

Besides the piano, Berens also was proficient on the violin and the trios reveal the hand of an experienced string player. The opening movement to the trio, Allegro vivace, begins in a stately fashion. Berens builds tension slowly but soon there is a definite sense of drama. The addition of a beautiful and lyrical second heightens the appeal. The second movement, Andante Maestoso, is a Schumannesque funeral march with rich deep sonorities. Pizzicato is also used to telling affect. Berens seemed to have an affinity for moderately slow movements. A charming minuet, Allegro non troppo, is comes next. There is a chirpy, up-dated Mozartian feel with a contrasting trio of slightly darker hue. The main subject to the Rondo-finale, Allegro non troppo, is graceful and elegant. Fast downward-plunging and upward-rocketing, which appear later, create a great sense of excitement and are used again in the thrilling conclusion to the work.

This trio, along with the two others which follow are an important addition to the string trio repertoire since there is really nothing else from the mid-romantic period of this excellence.

© Edition Silvertrust. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Related Composers

1800 1900 WWI Franz Berwald (1796-1868) Carl Gottlieb Reissiger (1798-1859) Adolf Lindblad (1801-1878) Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) Robert Schumann (1810-1856) Hermann Berens (1826-1880) Ludvig Norman (1831-1885) Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Laura Valborg Aulin (1860-1928)
Carl Gottlieb Reissiger (1798-1859)
Nationality: German
Born: January 31, 1798, Belzig Died: November 7, 1859, Dresden (age 61)
Laura Valborg Aulin (1860-1928)
Nationality: Swedish
Born: January 9, 1860, Gävle Died: January 11, 1928, Örebro (age 68)