Magazine article Gramophone

Beethoven: String Trio

Magazine article Gramophone

Beethoven: String Trio

Article excerpt

Beethoven

String Trio, Op 3. Serenade, Op 8

Trio Zimmermann

BIS [F] [SACD]. BIS2087 (68' * DDD/DSD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The acknowledged masterpieces among Beethoven's string trios are the three that form Op 9. Trio Zimmermann have already recorded those with aplomb (3/12), and I share Nalen Anthoni's enthusiasm for that disc. Now comes their follow-up and it's every bit as absorbing. These earlier pieces have tended to be relatively under-appreciated; true, they may not be the polished masterpieces of the mature composer but they are full of vim and vigour, and unmistakably Beethovenian.

Trio Zimmermann are big on heart and technique but low on ego, which makes for superbly natural-sounding performances. Something as simple as the Andante of the Op 3 Trio becomes a great conversation piece in their hands, sounding even more engaged than in the Leopold's. The accents that propel the Minuet are beautifully managed, too, as is the strikingly textured Trio section, in which sustained writing for the lower two instruments forms a backdrop for stratospheric violin acrobatics, managed by Frank Peter Zimmermann even more sweetly than Isabelle van Keulen of the Leopold. …

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