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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67393
Recording details: December 2002
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: April 2004
Total duration: 13 minutes 27 seconds

Piano Trio in E flat major, WoO38
composer
1790/1

Allegro moderato  [4'04]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Trio in E flat, WoO38 was written in 1790 or 1791 and doubtless played by Beethoven with members of the Elector’s orchestra. This slender, amiable three-movement work seems almost tentative beside the ambitious Opus 1 trios. But it contains much charming, unassuming music, together with occasional prophetic touches like the subtle elision of development and recapitulation in the first movement. The development introduces a new falling arpeggio figure that Beethoven fleetingly recalls in the coda and was to put to more dramatic use a few years later in the Piano Sonata in F minor, Op 2 No 1.

The middle movement is also in E flat, making this a rare Beethoven work that retains the same key and mode throughout. Though labelled ‘Scherzo’, this is really a minuet, gentler and more decorous than the examples Haydn was producing by this time. The delightful Trio is a bucolic German dance. For the finale Beethoven writes an easy-going rondo whose lilting theme is varied on each of its reappearances. The cello has more independence here than in the earlier movements, especially in the imitative dialogues in the second, ‘developing’ episode. The quiet sideslip to a surprise key in the coda is an early example of a Haydnesque gambit which Beethoven would fruitfully exploit in the years to come.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2004

Other albums featuring this work
'Beethoven: The Complete Music for Piano Trio' (CDS44471/4)
Beethoven: The Complete Music for Piano Trio
MP3 £20.00FLAC £20.00ALAC £20.00Buy by post £22.00 CDS44471/4  4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
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