String Trio (1997)

Part of the booklet-text: My four-movement String Trio of 1997 is indebted to the sound and style of Impressionist music. Elements of Swiss folk music are often evident at both the melodic and rhythmic levels; I incorporated some of them deliberately, but others simply crept in, emerging from my long involvement with the indigenous music of my country. For example, ranz-des-vaches motifs - using the Lydian scale and so imitating the natural harmonic series of the alpenhorn - are found in the slow introduction of the first movement and in the second movement as well. The main Allegro con moto section of the first movement begins with an elegiac theme in the violin and finally leads into a somewhat «false» ländler that turns into a dance in archaic rhythms based on the Lydian mode. The second movement is dominated by gentle melancholy, with lyrical moments alternating with unexpectedly pulsating and repetitive motions. The true principal item appears for the first time roughly in the middle of the movement and also brings it to a close. The violin begins alone. The key of E major briefly lights up. When the motif is repeated, it begins in E minor, but immediately returns to E major. Something in this simple sequence of notes moved me and still does. The motif haunted me long before I had planned the second movement at all, and ultimately represents my source of inspiration for the entire movement. Intended as a brief intermezzo, the Allegretto is a little reminiscent of a minuet and leads straight into the «most French» of all the four movements, the Allegro scherzo. Its sparkling close reintroduces the initial motif of the first movement. The string trio was jointly commissioned by the city of Zurich to mark the Zurich String Trio`s twentieth anniversary and by my deceased friend, the former Tonhalle bassoonist Rudolf Leuzinger, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the FIM (Fédération Internationale des Musiciens – Rudolf Leuzinger was its founder and secretary general for many years). The work was premiered by the Zurich String Trio at the Zurich Tonhalle in 1997.


Commissioned by the city of Zurich (for the 20th anniversary of the «Zürcher Streichtrio») and the former principal basson-player of the Tonhalle Orchestra Rudolf Leuzinger, (for the 50th anniversary of the Fédération Internationale des Musiciens (FIM); Rudolf Leuzinger was a founder and the secretary general for many years.)


I. Adagio, Allegro con moto
II. Lento
III. Allegretto
IV. Allegro, Scherzo


Violin, Viola, Violoncello


about 20 minutes


Complete work




Daniel Bell, Violin

Friedmann Weigle, Viola

Pi-Chin Chien, Violoncello

Capriccio - 67 106 (P 2004)

World Premiere

13th of September 1997 with the Zurich String Trio at Recital Hall, Tonhalle Zürich


April 09th, 2017
05:00 pm - Estland, Tallinn, Kadriorg Palace

Triin Ruubel (violin) - Johanna Vahermägi (viola) - Henry-David Varema (cello)

May 21st, 2012 - Deutschland, Stadttheater Bremerhaven

« ... from Mozart to Müller ... or music for strings between Vienna und Zurich ... », Josef Haydn: Divertimento No. 109 C-Major, Fabian Müller: Stringtrio, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: from «Preludien und Fugen» KV404a: No. 5 Eflat-Major, Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Stringquartet No. 2 op. 26 Eflat-Major

Violins : Alla Pescova, Hyeong-Ha Kim, Viola : Bettina Stüve-Görlach, Violoncello : Judith Gebauer

January 13th, 2004
08:45 pm - Offene Kirche Sils-Maria, Schweiz

Streichtrio des Symphonieorchester Engadin