COMPOSERS: Ludwig van Beethoven
ALBUM TITLE: Beethoven: Piano Trios Vol. 2
WORKS: Piano Trios Vol. 2: Trio in E-flat major, WoO 38; Trio in C minor, Op. 1, No. 3; Trio on E flat major, Op. 70, No. 2
PERFORMER: Gould Piano Trio
CATALOGUE NO: SOMM 0120
This early E flat Trio, WoO 38 doesn’t form part of the accepted canon of Beethoven’s trios. He was still living in his hometown, Bonn, when he wrote it, trying to find his feet as a composer. The Trio’s first movement is tentative and harmonically static, but the middle movement (a minuet, though labelled ‘scherzo’) is attractive, and the finale has a main theme that looks forward to the opening Allegro of Beethoven’s miraculously beautiful, last, E flat Trio, Op. 70 No. 2, also included on this disc. Both works are warmly played by the Gould Trio, who are particularly sensitive to the lyrical minuet-like third movement of the later work.
The last in the triptych of Op. 1 Trios is cast in Beethoven’s characteristically defiant C minor. Here, too, the Gould Trio’s playing is unfailingly musical, even if it’s possible to feel that the outer movements don’t quite convey the music’s subdued excitement and tension. All fine performances, in first-class sound.