Beethoven - Piano Trios Vol.3 | Somm SOMMCD0135

Beethoven - Piano Trios Vol.3

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Label: Somm

Cat No: SOMMCD0135

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 3rd March 2014



This is Volume 3 of Beethoven's Complete Piano Trios from the intrepid Gould Piano Trio, recorded live for Somm during their last year’s concerts at St George’s Brandon Hill. They are joined here by the popular clarinetist Robert Plane (former principal clarinetist of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the CBSO).

The Op.11 Trio is scored for piano, clarinet (or violin), and cello. It opens with a graceful Allegro con brio, followed by a beautiful, lyrical Adagio 2nd movement. The Allegretto third movement opens with a delightful theme leading to a witty set of nine variations.

Beethoven originally composed the set of Variations on ‘Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu’ (‘I am the tailor cockatoo’) round about 1795, the year following the appearance of Wenzel Müller’s 1794 comic Singspiel 'Die Schwestern von Prag' (‘The sisters from Prague’), in which this soon-to-be-popular song may be found. Müller’s opera was revived in 1814 and its success prompted Beethoven to revise these ten variations worthy of the, by-then, great composer. Each of the 10 variations seems to become more elaborate than its predecessor, and this brilliant work ends with a quasi-fugue as the music hurries to its delightful end.

The concluding work is a rarity: the Piano Trio version of the Septet Op.20.The Septet was published in 1802 and was so successful that Beethoven soon produced a new version for piano trio, giving it the separate Opus No.38. The music falls into the tradition of the instrumental classical serenade in that there are no fewer than six movements.

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