Beethoven - ‘Gassenhauer’ Trio, Symphony no.6 (arr. for piano trio) | C-AVI AVI8553114

Beethoven - ‘Gassenhauer’ Trio, Symphony no.6 (arr. for piano trio)


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Label: C-AVI

Cat No: AVI8553114

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 14th August 2020



This is the third and final volume in the little series by Beethoven Trio Bonn of “original trio” versus “home music” version of large scaled symphonic works by Beethoven.

Coupled with the very well-known “Gassenhauser” Trio is the lyric “Pastoral” Symphony no.6 by Beethoven, in a completely unknown trio arrangement by the Brahms friend Christian Gottlieb Belcke.

In a series of 3 CDs, the Beethoven Trio Bonn explores the confrontation between one of Beethoven’s standard works for piano trio with a further “house music” arrangement of one of his orchestral works. More than providing an interesting pairing, the Beethoven Trio Bonn was keen on interpreting an original work for piano trio alongside an arrangement of an orchestral work “downsized” to piano trio format. This new concept delivers surprising, unforeseen results.

Composers and publishers in Beethoven’s day sought to indulge the pleasures of the middle class: dozens of arrangements and transcriptions of orchestral works were in wide circulation for domestic use. Haydn, Mozart and many others had always tried to provide access to the wonders of symphonic music for those members of the population who could not gain entrance to the grand concerts of the upper classes.

Up to the 1930s, music publishers continued to commission composers to arrange and transcribe symphonies and other orchestral works, in order to make them readily available as chamber music; no composer found the task too lowly, since such work was a good source of steady income. The very well-known Piano Trio no.4 (“Gassenhauer”) with its enormous witty playfulness (we listen to the version with the violin instead of the clarinet) and its three (!) movements is partnered with the Symphony no.6, in an arrangement of the Brahms friend Christian Gottlieb Belcke (1796-1875).

Listening to it will be a big surprise, as the Sixth is a lovely flowing full-body music piece with all the details not forgotten, wonderfully balanced with all its pastoral melodies. Vol. 3 rounds up the trilogy “original” versus “home music-versions” of large-scale symphonic works. And surely some of the six pieces contains quite nice surprises, showing the music in different (new?) aspects. All of that is owed to the playing of the Beethoven Trio Bonn (“BTB”) with its richness of nuances and colours, interpreting the six trios, highly expressive as well as impressive.

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