Magazine article Gramophone

Beethoven: 'The Complete Piano Trios, Vol 3'

Magazine article Gramophone

Beethoven: 'The Complete Piano Trios, Vol 3'

Article excerpt

Beethoven

'The Complete Piano Trios, Vol 3'

Trios--Op 11 (a); Op 38 (a). Variations on 'Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu', Op 121a

Gould Piano Trio with (a) Robert Plane cl

Somm Celeste [F] SOMMCD0135 (78' * DDD)

Recorded live at St George's, Bristol, February 29, 2012

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Not always profound Beethoven, but genuine Beethoven all the same. With a connection too: the theme from the second movement of his Piano Sonata Op 49 No 2 is reused in the Minuet of Op 38 and, as a slowed-down extract, in the Adagio of Op 11, where you may miss the fuller sounds of the Oslo Philharmonic Chamber Group or Gaudier Ensemble. But the slender tones of Robert Plane, Benjamin Frith and Alice Neary are no less communicative of this internalised interlude. Fleeting raw edges to Plane's tone also enhance the outer movements, in particular the second B flat minor variation in the finale.

If you are fond of the Septet, Op 20, for string quartet, clarinet, bassoon and horn (a favourite of Arturo Toscanini, too, who conducted it with a larger body of strings), this arrangement as a clarinet trio, albeit by Beethoven himself, may not please. …

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