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Beethoven Project Trio

> Piano Trio in E flat major, Hess 47 - Piano Trio in E flat major, Hess 47: I. Allegro con brio
> Piano Trio in D major, Kinsky/Halm Anhang 3 - I. Allegro
> Piano Trio in D major, Kinsky/Halm Anhang 3 - II. Rondo: Allegretto
> Piano Trio in E flat major, Op. 63 - I. Allegro con brio
> Piano Trio in E flat major, Op. 63 - II. Andante
> Piano Trio in E flat major, Op. 63 - III. Menuetto - Trio
> Piano Trio in E flat major, Op. 63 - IV. Finale: Presto

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Hess 47 (incomplete)
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings in D major, Anh. 3 (attributed)
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quintet for Strings in E flat major, Op. 4
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Here the Beethoven Project Trio performs the World Premiere Recording of Beethoven's recently discovered Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Hess 47, plus two more Beethoven rarities: the Piano Trio in D Major, Kinsky/Halm Anhang 3, once attributed to Mozart, and the surprisingly little-known Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 63. The Chicago Tribune wrote of the Beethoven Project Trio's March 1, 2009 concert, "Pianist George Lepauw, violinist Sang Mee Lee and cellist Wendy Warner made a splendid ensemble, playing with finely judged balance, evenness of sound and unanimity of style."

"All this music is interesting and the players do it with fine style. There are no fewer than four pages listing donors and supporters of the International Beethoven Project that is responsible for making this record. The players are George Lepauw, piano, Sang Mee Lee, violin, and Wrendy Warner, cello. They are fine tasteful musicians that play beautifully together. Lupaw opens the notes with a detailed history of how the group got together for this project. Then McConnell gives us the history of the music in a clear and concise way. This is a recording well worth investigating. They want to go on recording the Beethoven trios and I, for one, would be happy to hear them."-American Record Guide

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (08/31/2009-09/04/2009).



Reviews

So-So Trios from the Beethoven Project
This interesting disc contains three virtually unknown trios for violin, cello and piano by Beethoven: the single movement Trio in E flat Major, Hess 47 (a transcription by Beethoven of the first movement of his Op. 3 string trio), the two movement trio in D Major, Kinsky/Halm Anhang 3, originally thought to be by Mozart, and the Piano Trio in E Flat Major, Op 63, an arrangement, believed by Liszt and others to be by Beethoven, of his string quintet, Op. 4. This is the world premiere recording of the first two of the trios. I must say, now that I know them, I understand why they are unknown. It is not that the music does not have charm, it does. But we have come to expect so much more than charming from Beethoven, and his great piano trios are incredible works of the genre. The playing is fine. These are gifted and dedicated chamber musicians. The sound suffers from what I call digitalitis. The piano fares well enough, though the richness of the Fazioli sound is lost. The violin and cello do not have the warmth that I suspect was in the playing of the two excellent string players, the tone is without depth and the attacks are strident. The violin is a Strad, and the cello a Gagliano, all superb instruments deserving of more faithful sonic reproduction. Perhaps an analog LP version, or even a digital version on LP, would move me, but I can't help wondering if Beethoven would have bothered returning to these early works to make new arrangements were he not in need of funds. I am afraid this is a disc for those whose interest in Beethoven runs to the academic.
Submitted on 06/23/10 by Leni Bogat 
Must Have Beethoven!
The obvious “hook” for this CD is the fact that it contains the world premier recordings of Beethoven’s Trio in E-Flat Major, Hess 47, as well as the Piano Trio in D Major, Kinsky/Halm Anhang 3. How could any Beethoven lover resist! As it turns out, the recording is simply wonderful – the trio having been formed for the specific purpose of playing these pieces in concert as part of the International Beethoven Project, and having been familiar with each other since very early in their careers (the pianist having played with the violinist in the past, and the violinist having played with the cellist since their teenage years). These people feel comfortable with each other, and it shows. The instruments used are a Fazioli Concert Grand F278 (played by pianist George Lepauw) that has an incredible warm sound, the 1713 Cooper-Hakkert Stradivarius (played by violinist Sang Mee Lee), and a 1772 Gagliano (played by cellist Wendy Warner). The recording was made at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York and is an example of what a well recorded chamber music concert should be, the instruments shining individually and blending with each other as appropriate. The liner notes are also informative and well written. As for the music itself, it is not the somber fist-in-the-air Beethoven that some might expect. Rather, it is the music of friends (as depicted by each of the three instruments) getting together to share an afternoon of experiences and good company, and we are privileged to listen in and be a part of it. The interplay between the three is particularly pleasant in the Piano Trio in D Major, as well as in the Andante movement of the Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Opus 63. This is good music, lovingly played by a newly formed trio that has decided to stay together to perform and record Beethoven’s other Trio works. Good news indeed for this listener!
Submitted on 08/15/10 by KlingonOpera 
Great discovery, but only decent playing/recording
New music from Beethoven! Actually, it's a recently unearthed trio from the master's early period, written in the 1790s. It's always a treat to hear the undiscovered works of our favorite composers; although we are often let down by the quality of the composition and find that to be the precise reason we haven't heard the piece before. In the case of the world premiere recording of Beethoven's Trio in E-flat Major, however, the composition is splendid and a worthy addition to any Beethoven-lover's collection. The Trio in D Major is also a world premiere recording, although the piece has been played in repertory, however seldom, before. The disc closes with the Opus 63 Trio in E-flat Major. What I did not like was the heavy-handed, rhythmic attack of the Beethoven Project Trio. It lacked a lightness and fluidity. While their timing is impeccable, if not methodical, they lacked passion -- both fire and tenderness. For this listener, it was a bit robotic and forced. The recording may be to fault as well, since it felt much too close and too loud, lacking air and space. These faults are especially evident in the world premiere E-flat Major trio. The players did a much better job at subtlety in the D Major and E-flat Major (Opus 63) trios.
Submitted on 05/20/11 by DanL 
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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Hess 47 (incomplete)
  • Ensemble: Beethoven Project Trio
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (08/31/2009-09/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: after 1800

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings in D major, Anh. 3 (attributed)
  • Ensemble: Beethoven Project Trio
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (08/31/2009-09/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1799

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quintet for Strings in E flat major, Op. 4
  • Ensemble: Beethoven Project Trio
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (08/31/2009-09/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 33 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1795