Trio No 2 in D major exploits a key that is regarded as ‘natural’ to the violin. The solo part is in fact frighteningly difficult—hard to bow, hard to tune successfully, difficult to play ‘instinctively’; once again it resembles the Sonata Op 10 No 3 which is full of technical challenges for the pianist. We are led to contemplate whether the composer (who was certainly, in Opus 10, still composing music to play himself) was aware of all the problems he was presenting to his violinist, although it is known that he did have some knowledge of how to play the instrument. Incidentally, D major had been traditionally a celebratory key, even a happy one, but this String Trio seems rather more serious and challenging, in the true manner of the later Second Symphony.
from notes by Stephen Daw © 1998