Complete Piano Trios Vol. 4 (2020)

Beethoven

Van Baerle trio

Beethoven’s most famous piano trio is dedicated to the Archduke Rudolph, himself an accomplished musician. The importance of Rudolph as a patron can be seen in the number of other prominent works that Beethoven dedicated to him. Beethoven started work on the trio in the second half of 1810, but much of the work was done in March of the next year. Some descriptions give an inkling of how novel a composition this was perceived to be, and a young Ignaz Moscheles reported: “In the case of how many compositions is the word ‘new’ misapplied! But never in Beethoven's, and least of all in this, which again is full of originality.”

A year after the Archduke, Beethoven wrote another piano trio in B-flat major. The autograph dates it 26 June 1812, but besides the similarity in key it is different in every way. It consists of a single movement, was not published during the composer’s lifetime, and was written to encourage the nine-year-old Maximiliane Brentano in her piano playing.

The Trio in E-flat WoO 38 might have been once intended to be part of op. 1 and although there are no extant sketches to support this, the style of the composition makes a dating of around 1790-1 plausible. The trio contains some surprising twists and turns, particularly in its lengthy codas.

The last piece for piano trio that Beethoven published during his lifetime has one of the longest compositional histories of all of his works. It consists of a long introduction, followed by ten variations on ‘Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu’ from Wilhelm Müller’s popular opera Die Schwestern von Prag. The first version of this piece was probably composed between 1801 and 1803, but it was substantially revised in 1816, and most likely further revised before publication in 1824.  This final trio therefore includes elements from Beethoven’s early, middle, and late styles.

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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!

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Complete Piano Trios Vol. 4 (2020)

Beethoven

Van Baerle trio

Mastering Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Notes: Marten Noorduin
Producer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording location: Muziekcentrum van de omroep MCO 1, Hilversum
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD

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CC72782: Complete Piano Trios Vol. 4
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Tracks.
1.
Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97 'Archduke' - Allegro moderato
Beethoven
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2.
Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97 'Archduke' - Scherzo. Allegro
Beethoven
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3.
Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97 'Archduke' - Andante cantabile, ma per? con moto
Beethoven
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4.
Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97 'Archduke' - Allegro moderato
Beethoven
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5.
Allegretto in B-flat Major, WoO 39 - Allegretto in B-flat Major, WoO 39
Beethoven
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6.
Piano Trio in E-flat Major, WoO 38 - Allegro moderato
Beethoven
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7.
Piano Trio in E-flat Major, WoO 38 - Scherzo. Allegro ma non troppo
Beethoven
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8.
Piano Trio in E-flat Major, WoO 38 - Rondo. Allegretto
Beethoven
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9.
Variations on 'Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu', Op. 121a - Variations on ?Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu
Beethoven
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