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Beethoven: Piano Trios Op. 70 No.2, Op. 97 'Archduke' / Isabelle Faust, violin; Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello; Alexander Melnikov, piano

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Op. 70/2
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings no 7 in B flat major, Op. 97 "Archduke"
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

By giving the stringed instruments the status of genuinely equal partners with the piano, it was Beethoven who gave the piano trio the form it was to retain throughout the 19th century. This album presents the composer's last two works in the genre, Op.70 No.2 dedicated to Countess Marie Erdödy, and the celebrated 'Archduke' trio, which marked the final public appearance of its composer. All three eminent Beethovenians, violinist Isabelle Faust, Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and pianist Alexander Melnikov join forces here in performances that set a new standard.

Sunday Times, 2nd February 2014
This ensemble is something of an A team. All play period instruments on this alluring disc, making for some ravishing textures.

The Guardian, 6th February 2014
Melnikov plays a restored fortepiano here...and it blends perfectly with Isabelle Faust's wonderfully attentive, selfless violin playing, and Jean-Guihen Queyras's inquiringly musical cello..these three players pitch [the Archduke] perfectly, always listening to each other and giving the textures a buoyancy and transparency that bring something fresh to every bar. Fascinating.

The Telegraph, 20th February 2014
The playing throughout the trio is thoroughly attuned to the tone and emotional scope of the music, profoundly rapt in the andante and perkily whimsical, explosive and propulsive in the gloriously idiosyncratic finale.

New York Times, 19th February 2014
You might not think that a recording of two Beethoven piano trios could be all that newsy. But this one is exceptional. Three insightful and accomplished artists...give fresh, lithe and sensitive performances.

Financial Times, 8th March 2014
The first thing you notice here is the timbre of the fortepiano, lightening the overall texture: in Melnikov's hands it sometimes sounds like a gypsy dulcimer...The "Archduke" receives a delightfully intimate performance: the voicing of each instrument comes across with equal clarity, and the great Andante cantabile casts its spell afresh.

MusicWeb International, 17th March 2014
This new recording joins the others at the top of the tree and is worth buying even if you have one of them because of its unique selling point - the employment of a fortepiano.

BBC Music Magazine, April 2014
Melnikov works wonders with his 1828 Graff piano, managing to make it less clattery and more piano-like than in most other fortepiano recordings.

International Record Review, April 2014
A captivating performance ... recorded in very clear, natural sound ... This terrific new Harmonia Mundi disc can be recommended unreservedly.

Gramophone Magazine, February 2014
A cellist who tends towards introversion; a fortepianist who tends the other way. Put them together and something magical happens within the tensions they engender.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Teldex Studio Berlin (09/2011).


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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Op. 70/2
  • Performers: Alexander Melnikov (Fortepiano); Jean-Guihen Queyras (Cello); Isabelle Faust (Violin)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1808

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings no 7 in B flat major, Op. 97 "Archduke"
  • Performers: Jean-Guihen Queyras (Cello); Isabelle Faust (Violin); Alexander Melnikov (Fortepiano)
  • Running Time: 36 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1810-1811