Beethoven: Complete Piano Trios

Beethoven: Complete Piano Trios
Composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Artist Trio Élégiaque
Laurent Le Flécher violin
Virginie Constant cello
François Dumont piano
Format 5 CD
Cat. number 94327
EAN code 5028421943275
Release November 2013

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About this release

The piano trio existed, in other guises, long before Ludwig van Beethoven got his hands on it. But he was the composer who would expand the genre beyond all recognition, using his relentless creativity to exploit the piano trio to its full potential.

Beethoven begins his transformation of the genre – after his first two trios in the style of Haydn – with the emancipation of the cello, giving greater individuality to each of the three instruments. Piano Trio Op.1 No.3 foretells – almost ten years in advance – the heroicism of the composer’s ‘middle period’, and Op.70 No.2, written in 1808, is akin to the music of his ‘late period’. He reached new heights of dramaticism in the ‘Ghost’ Trio, with its intense tremolandi, while in the ‘Archduke’ he displayed the sheer symphonic power with which we now associate him.

The works are performed here by Trio Élégiaque, an internationally acclaimed ensemble made up of three multi-award-winning performers: Laurent Le Flécher, Virginie Constant and François Dumont.

Other information:
- Recorded in 2012.
- Contains liner notes on the performer.
- Contains multiple liner notes on the works.
- For the bigger part of his life Beethoven occupied himself with the formation of the Piano Trio (piano, violin, cello). It offered him the perfect vehicle for the development of his compositional techniques (the three instruments acting as independent players in the quasi symphonic structures) and the exploration of instrumental brilliance and virtuosity (Beethoven himself was an excellent pianist).
- Beethoven considered his first three piano trios worthy of his first official Opus number, the number 1, works of great scope, drama and wit. The 2 trios Op. 70 form a bridge to late Beethoven, and find an equivalent in the Rasumovsky String Quartets Op. 59. The great Archduke Trio Op. 97 is magnificent in its symphonic breath and grandeur, one of Beethoven’s longest chamber music works.
- This set contains also the shorter works for piano trio, arrangements, and the transcription of the Symphony No. 2 for piano trio, by Beethoven himself.
- The young French Trio Elegiaque has already received great critical acclaim for their recording of Messiaen and Dusapin (Diapason d’Or!). They played the Beethoven trio cycle several times in concert series, and their performances bear witness of their insight, enthousiasm and ensemble culture.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Piano Trio in G Major, Op. 1 No. 2: I. Adagio – Allegro vivace
  2. Piano Trio in G Major, Op. 1 No. 2: II. Largo con espressione
  3. Piano Trio in G Major, Op. 1 No. 2: III. Scherzo. Allegro
  4. Piano Trio in G Major, Op. 1 No. 2: IV. Finale. Presto
  5. Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70 No. 1 “Ghost”: I. Allegro vivace
  6. Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70 No. 1 “Ghost”: II. Largo assai ed espressivo
  7. Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70 No. 1 “Ghost”: III. Presto
  8. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, WoO 38: I. Allegro moderato
  9. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, WoO 38: II. Scherzo. Allegro ma non troppo
  10. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, WoO 38: III. Rondo. Allegretto

Disk 2

  1. Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 1 No. 3: I. Allegro con brio
  2. Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 1 No. 3: II. Andante cantabile con variazioni
  3. Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 1 No. 3: III. Menuetto. Quasi allegro – Trio
  4. Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 1 No. 3: IV. Finale. Prestissimo
  5. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 70 No. 2: I. Poco sostenuto – Allegro ma non troppo
  6. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 70 No. 2: II. Allegretto
  7. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 70 No. 2: III. Allegretto ma non troppo
  8. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 70 No. 2: IV. Finale. Allegro
  9. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 44: 14 Variations on an Original Theme: Tema. Andante con variazioni

Disk 3

  1. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 1 No. 1: I. Allegro
  2. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 1 No. 1: II. Adagio cantabile
  3. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 1 No. 1: III. Scherzo. Allegro assai
  4. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 1 No. 1: IV. Finale. Presto
  5. Piano Trio in D Major, After Symphony No. 2, Op. 36: I. Adagio – Allegro con brio
  6. Piano Trio in D Major, After Symphony No. 2, Op. 36: II. Larghetto quasi andante
  7. Piano Trio in D Major, After Symphony No. 2, Op. 36: III. Scherzo
  8. Piano Trio in D Major, After Symphony No. 2, Op. 36: IV. Allegro molto
  9. Triosatz in E-Flat Major, Op. Posth. (Allegretto)

Disk 4

  1. Piano Trio in B-Flat Major, Op. 97 “Archduke”: I. Allegro moderato
  2. Piano Trio in B-Flat Major, Op. 97 “Archduke”: II. Scherzo. Allegro
  3. Piano Trio in B-Flat Major, Op. 97 “Archduke”: III. Andante cantabile, ma però con moto – Poco più adagio
  4. Piano Trio in B-Flat Major, Op. 97 “Archduke”: IV. Allegro moderato
  5. Piano Trio in B-Flat Major WoO39 (Allegretto)
  6. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 63, After String Quintet, Op. 4: I. Allegro con brio
  7. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 63, After String Quintet, Op. 4: II. Andante
  8. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 63, After String Quintet, Op. 4: III. Menuetto – Trio
  9. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 63, After String Quintet, Op. 4: IV. Finale. Presto

Disk 5

  1. Piano Trio in B-Flat Major, Op. 11 “Gassenhauer”: I. Allegro con brio
  2. Piano Trio in B-Flat Major, Op. 11 “Gassenhauer”: II. Adagio
  3. Piano Trio in B-Flat Major, Op. 11 “Gassenhauer”: III. Tema. Pria ch'io l'impegno allegretto con variazioni
  4. Piano Trio in G Major, Op. 121a “Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu” (Introduzione. Adagio assai – Tema. Allegretto con variazioni)
  5. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 38, After the Septet, Op. 20: I. Adagio – Allegro con brio
  6. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 38, After the Septet, Op. 20: II. Adagio cantabile
  7. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 38, After the Septet, Op. 20: III. Tempo di menuetto
  8. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 38, After the Septet, Op. 20: IV. Andante con variazioni
  9. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 38, After the Septet, Op. 20: V. Scherzo. Allegro molto e vivace
  10. Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 38, After the Septet, Op. 20: VI. Andante con moto alla marcia – Presto