Complete Piano Trios Vol. 3 (2018)

Beethoven

Van Baerle trio

Beethoven, Complete Piano Trios vol. 3: Op. 70 Nos. 1 & 2, Op. 44 

The year 1808 was a period of superlative productivity for Beethoven: he had finished his Fifth Symphony in March, and the Sixth by September. Both symphonies would receive their premiers on 22 December 1808, during one of the most extraordinary concerts in history. In addition to the symphonies, it included the Fourth Piano Concerto, two parts from the Mass in C op. 86, an extemporized piano fantasy, the concert aria Ah perfido! op. 65, and the Choral Fantasy op. 80 that was especially composed for that occasion. The enormous programme ensured that the whole concert lasted about four hours. In the midst of all this, Beethoven somehow found the time and energy to compose two major piano trios. They are first mentioned in a letter from the end of July; the first was finished by the middle of September, and the second probably around a month later. They were completed while Beethoven was living with Countess Marie Erdödy, to whom the trios were also dedicated. The fact that she was separated from her husband at this time has fuelled much colourful speculation about whether she might have had a romantic relationship with the composer, but reliable evidence for that is lacking. 

- Marten Noorduin (Liner Notes, read more in the booklet)

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Van Baerle trio

The Van Baerle Trio has had a rich history in the few years of its existence. We started playing together almost by accident – when we met for our first rehearsal we hardly knew each other! In my first year at the Amsterdam Conservatory, I had to form a chamber music ensemble. Since the repertoire attracted me very much, I started looking for partners for a piano trio, to be coached by Dmitri Ferschtman, cellist and professor at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. He suggested asking Gideon den Herder, who in his turn suggested Hannes Minnaar (he knew him from theory lessons). The first time we met was in autumn 2004, when we planned our first rehearsal with the Beethoven Trio op.1 no.3.
Rehearsals were not easy in the beginning – I spoke only English and Hannes would often switch to Dutch, so Gideon would have to translate. Also musically, we came from different backgrounds: I was raised in a ‘Russian school’ tradition and had very little experience with chamber music; Gideon was always veryinterested in performance practice and had more experience in chamber music and ensemble playing; Hannes didn’t come from a musical family and was therefore curious about everything and interested in all sorts of music (from Sweelinck to Percy Grainger) — he always knew pieces which we never heard about!

Hannes Minnaar

www.hannesminnaar.com

In March of 2013, Hannes Minnaar made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto under Herbert Blomstedt. This performance marked a new milestone in the career of the 28-year-old pianist. The invitation to perform in this concert was the result of the Third Prize won by Minnaar in 2010 at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. The following year, this prestigious award gained him a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, which made it possible, among other things, for him to produce his first CD. This CD, which included Rachmaninoff’s rarely played First Piano Sonata and Ravel’s ‘Miroirs’, was praised by reviewers and received an Edison award in the following year.

Minnaar’s talent had already attracted attention at the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he completed his studies summa cum laude under Jan Wijn. Soon afterwards he was invited to appear as a soloist with various orchestras. He worked with conductors including Marin Alsop, Frans Brüggen, and Edo de Waart. He appeared in recitals and was a guest at various festivals, many of them in France. For example, in 2013 Minnaar performed at the well-known piano festival in La Roque D’Anthéron, where all the most prominent members of the piano world make their appearance. Minnaar also performed at festivals in countries such as China and Bahrein. At the end of 2013 he will make his recital debut in Tokyo.

 

In 2008, when Minnaar made the decision to compete internationally, he took part in the Geneva Competition, where he was awarded a second prize. This was followed in 2010 by the Elisabeth Everts Prize and the award, as mentioned above, from the famous Brussels competition. It was particularly because of this latter award that the national and international spotlights began to focus on Minnaar. Reviewers praised the natural quality of his playing, his musical intelligence, feeling for structure, modesty, and his solid work ethic: “a winning combination”. “A young pianist of international standing has appeared,“ wrote Peter de Bruin, reviewer for the NRC, in 2010.

Maria Milstein

Born in Moscow in a family of musicians, Maria Milstein (1985) starts the violin at the age of five. Her family moves to France in 1991. She studies in Fiesole with Pavel Vernikov, in Amsterdam Conservatory with Ilya Grubert and in London with David Takeno. Between 2011 and 2014 Maria is Artist in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, in the class of Augustin Dumay.
Maria is a prizewinner of major international competitions and awards such as “Città di Brescia” and “Premio Rodolfo Lipizer” in Italy, the ARD Competition in Munich (Piano Trio Category) and the Lyon International Chamber Music Competition (both as violinist of the Van Baerle Trio), as well as the Concertgebouw Vriendenkrans Competition and the Kersjes Prize in the Netherlands. She has been selected for international concert tours such as the “New Masters on Tour” of the Holland Music Sessions, or the ECHO “Rising Stars” with her Van Baerle Trio.

Maria appears as a soloist with the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Brussels Philharmonic, the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonie, the Musica Viva Orchestra of Moscow and Amsterdam Sinfonietta, and in 2013 she collaborates with the Liège Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for the recording of Saint-Saëns works for violin and orchestra (Zig-Zag Territoires, 2013).
Maria performs as a soloist with conductors such as Michel Tabachnik, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Christian Arming, Christopher Warren-Green, Alexander Rudin, Augustin Dumay, Reinbert de Leeuw and Ivan Meylemans. A highly appreciated chamber musician, she plays together with renowned artists such as Elisabeth Leonskaja, Gary Hoffman, Abdel Rahman El Bacha, Hannes Minnaar, Philippe Graffin, Liza and Dmitri Ferschtman and Alexander Kniazev.

Since 2004, Maria forms together with pianist Hannes Minnaar and cellist Gideon den Herder the Van Baerle Trio. Very successful at several international competitions, the trio has released two albums: a debut CD with works by Saint-Saëns, Loevendie and Ravel (Etcetera Records, 2012), which received an Edison award in 2013 in the category “best debut CD”, and an album dedicated to Mendelssohn piano trios (Challenge Records, 2014), with the exclusive recording of the early version of Mendelssohn’s First Trio. Both CD’s received lavish reviews in the international press. The Trio tours extensively in Europe, performing at major venues such as the Musikverein in Vienna, the Philharmonie in Cologne, Cité de la Musique and Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Bozar in Brussels, the Philharmonie in Essen and many others.
Since 2014 Maria holds a teaching position at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Maria plays on a violin by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume from 1860.

 

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Complete Piano Trios Vol. 3 (2018)

Beethoven

Van Baerle trio

    HRAudio.Net -

With this third volume the Van Baerle Trio confirm being well on their way to deliver a complete set that doesn’t turn pale in the face of the very best available in any format. Moreover, theirs has the advantage of boasting a supreme sound quality. Not only because of the use of Chris Maene’s purpose built ‘Straight Strings Concert Grand’ (without interference of crossed strings) with a sound image somewhere in between ‘old and new’, giving the music a pleasingly warm fundament, but also Bert van der Wolf’s peerless recording technique, almost wiping out (depending on the quality of the sound reproduction) the difference between the concert hall and a private listening room. Quite exceptional, really. In both piano trios Op. 70 the van Baerle Trio, clearly shunning any hint of sentimentalism or exaggerated drama, play with authority and elegance, conveying the nobility of the dedicatee, Countess Marie Erdödy. The following variations Op. 44 become a moment of sheer joy. Under their capable hands each variation (of a theme by Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf) unravels Beethoven’s ingenious handling of the material in simply textured melodies reminiscent of the unequalled simplicity Haydn expressed in his best piano trios. I suggest that meanwhile listeners read Martin Noorduin’s clarifying liner notes, which are, as before, of a pleasant and informative nature. I do hope that I’ll be excused of giving a final verdict as long as the set is not complete, but so far it has all the hallmarks of becoming a much desirable one. Performance: 5 out of 5 stars Sonics (Multichannel): 5 out of 5 stars

Adrian Quanjer[read full review]

    Stretto

The ability of the three players to change the atmosphere, to reinforce or to oppose each other is exceptional. This is a refreshing vision which greatly complements the masterful interpretations of the past, while at the same time adding a dimension which makes you look at the Titan of music with a different sonority.

Complete Piano Trios Vol. 3 (2018)

Beethoven

Van Baerle trio

Editing Software: Pyramix
Mastering Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Piano: Chris Maene Straight Strung Concert Grand CM17003
Piano Technicians: Charles Rademaker, Naomi van Schoot
Producer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording Assistent: Martijn van der Wolf
Recording Engineer: Northstar Recording Services BV - Bert van der Wolf
Recording location: MCO-1 Hilversum (the Netherlands) - 9 July 2017 (Op. 44), 25-27 June 2018
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD

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CC72781: Complete Piano Trios Vol. 3
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Tracks.
1.
Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70 No. 1 - Allegro vivace e con brio
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2.
Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70 No. 1 - Largo assai ed espressivo
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3.
Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70 No. 1 - Presto
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4.
Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 70 No. 2 - Poco sostenuto - Allegro ma non troppo
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5.
Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 70 No. 2 - Allegretto
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6.
Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 70 No. 2 - Allegretto ma non troppo
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7.
Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 70 No. 2 - Finale - Allegro
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8.
Variations in E-flat Major, Op. 44
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