Beethoven, Archduke Rudolph Of Austria

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Archduke Rudolph Of Austria,Beethoven
LABELS: CRD
WORKS: Clarinet Trio in B flat, Op. 11
PERFORMER: Nash Ensemble
CATALOGUE NO: 3345 ADD Reissue (1978)
Now over 20 years old, these pre-digital recordings retain a pleasing freshness and transparency. The performances, too, are entirely serviceable, though the later Nash Ensemble remake of Beethoven’s Clarinet Trio (Virgin) with the more regular coupling of the Septet is generally superior.

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This reissue will appeal mostly to those with a taste for the unfamiliar. The close ties between Beethoven and his student Archduke Rudolph of Austria (1788-1831; recipient of more great masterworks than perhaps anyone else in history) are well documented, but the quality of Rudolph’s own compositions may come as a surprise. His Trio in B flat receives a committed performance here, and it seems odd that this spirited work has not been adopted more widely. But I’d prefer a weightier approach in Beethoven’s Op. 11, so the later Nash version, or better still, the Walter Boeykens Ensemble’s Harmonia Mundi account, are prime contenders here. Michael Jameson