Beethoven - Piano Trios opp. 70 & 121a | Channel Classics CCS39117

Beethoven - Piano Trios opp. 70 & 121a


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Label: Channel Classics

Cat No: CCS39117

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 21st April 2017



Three world-class musicians decided to join forces in 2011. As the Hamlet Piano Trio their reputation grows fast worldwide. All three have earned their stripes, both as soloists and as chamber musicians. Their first release of Mendelssohn Piano Trios received international critical acclaim. On this new release they focus on Beethoven whose ‘recalcitrant talent’ filled Vienna with mixes feeling for many Viennese did not understand this new music. (...) Too brutal, too headstrong, too restless, too obtrusive. The virtuosic pianist Beethoven nonetheless pursued his career as a composer. He entirely ignored the works he wrote in Bonn, beginning to count his opus numbers in Vienna afresh from the Piano Trios opus 1. They met with harsh criticism. ‘It cannot be denied that this man goes his own way. But what a bizarre and tiresome way it is! Not a single tune, everything sounds recalcitrant. Again and again in search of peculiar modulations, nasty progressions and an accumulation of problems, so that we lose all patience and joy.’ Beethoven answered curtly: ‘They don’t understand a thing’. His time was yet to come. Later on he called the critic in question ‘an ox’.

‘This disc from the Hamlet Trio, a group just four years old, boasts performances that shine with confidence and immediacy’ - Gramophone (Mendelssohn, opp. 49 & 66)

Hamlet Piano Trio:
- Paolo Giacometti (piano)
- Candida Thompson (violin)
- Xenia Jankovic (cello)


The first of the two Op 70s has overshadowed the second, partly because of its name, the Ghost, as well as its fiery, dramatic character and dark, macabre largo middle movement. But the more easy-going yet vital No 2 also has a ghostly moment — the third movement’s uncanny anticipations of Schubert. They make a wonderful complementary pair, especially as played so vividly by the period-instrument Hamlet Trio.
The Sunday Times 28 May 2017

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