Trio Wanderer – Beethoven: Complete Piano Trios (2012) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Trio Wanderer – Beethoven: Complete Piano Trios (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 04:05:09 minutes | 4,01 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © harmonia mundi

Already established within Viennese culture by Haydn and Mozart, the trio genre was taken to new limits by the inexhaustible imagination of Beethoven’s genius: “a serene joy come from an unknown world”, was E. T. A. Hoffmann’s reaction on hearing the Trio in D major Op.70 no.1. The Wanderers have ventured into the Beethoven piano trios and mastered every inch of its topography. What better guide could there be for us to follow with total confidence, in their 25th anniversary year?

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble: Wanderer Trio

Even more than with their Schubert, Trio Wanderer’s perspective on Beethoven is so fresh it’s almost disconcerting. The prevailing impressions are of delicacy, beauty of tone and a spirited playfulness that’s often eclipsed when performers go all out for high seriousness. Rarely has the C minor Trio sounded less tragic and more lyrical and impish. Sometimes this is convincing. The major-minor contrasts in the second movement of Op. 70 No. 2 are handled beautifully. The teasing finale of the Ghost Trio, is a delight. And the Wanderers make a good case for the version of Op. 11 No. 1 with violin (instead of the more familiar clarinet); you’d think this must be how Beethoven first conceived it. In the famous Archduke, the prevailing impression is of gently affectionate, quick-witted, intimate discourse, making the Scherzo memorable.

But however valuable it is to be reminded that Beethoven isn’t all gruffness, imposing grandeur and heaven-storming intensity, it is decidedly odd to find those qualities so little in evidence on this recording. If there’s passion here, it’s of the intellectual, rather than the physical kind. Despite the Trio Wanderer’s strong sense of the long line, and of the role rhythm plays in powering the argument, this is a Beethoven of subtle frissons rather than thrills. It’s the imaginative brilliance of the writing that stands out in the slow movement of the Ghost, but there’s little sense of a darker presence in the background. The slow movement of the Archduke glides serenely from variation to variation, but I don’t get much sense of an emotional exploration. I’m glad I’ve heard these beautifully recorded performances. They’ve opened up vistas on this music I’ve barely glimpsed before. But as an overall view of Beethoven, this is just too – in both senses of the word – partial.

CD 01
Piano Trio no.1
in E flat major / Mi bémol majeur / Es-Dur, op.1 no.1
1 | I. Allegro 9’10
2 | II. Adagio cantabile 7’06
3 | III. Scherzo. Allegro assai 4’34
4 | IV. Finale. Presto 7’16
Piano Trio no.2
in G major / Sol majeur / G-Dur, op.1 no.2
5 | I. Adagio – Allegro vivace 10’41
6 | II. Largo con espressione 8’50
7 | III. Scherzo. Allegro – Trio 3’10
8 | IV. Finale. Presto 7’08

CD 02
Piano Trio no.3
in C minor / ut mineur / c-Moll, op.1 no.3
9 | I. Allegro con brio 9’13
10 | II. Andante cantabile con Variazioni 6’44
11 | III. Menuetto. Quasi Allegro – Trio 3’32
12 | IV. Finale. Prestissimo 7’31
Piano Trio no.4
in B flat major / Si bémol majeur / B-Dur, op.11 no.1
13 | I. Allegro con brio 8’19
14 | II. Adagio con espressione 4’40
15 | III. Tema (con variazioni): “Pria ch’io l’impegno”. Allegretto 6’24
Piano Trio no.9
in E flat major / Mi bémol majeur / Es-Dur, op.44
16 | 14 Variations on “Ja, ich muß mich von ihr scheiden” 12’28

CD 03
Piano Trio no.5 (“Ghost” / “Trio des esprits”/ “Geister-Trio”)
in D major / Ré majeur / D-Dur, op.70 no.1
17 | I. Allegro vivace e con brio 9’32
18 | II. Largo assai ed espressivo 9’50
19 | III. Presto 7’37
Piano Trio no.6
in E flat major / Mi bémol majeur / Es-Dur, op.70 no.2
20 | I. Poco sostenuto – Allegro ma non troppo 10’07
21 | II. Allegretto 4’55
22 | III. Allegretto ma non troppo 6’38
23 | IV. Finale. Allegro 7’50

CD 04
Piano Trio no.7 (“Archduke” / “à l’Archiduc” / “Erzherzog-Trio”)
in B flat major / Si bémol majeur / B-Dur, op.97 no.1
24 | I. Allegro moderato 12’45
25 | II. Scherzo. Allegro 6’18
26 | III. Andante cantabile, ma però con moto 10’46
27 | IV. Allegro moderato – Presto 6’46
Piano Trio no.8
28 | 10 Variations on “Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu” 16’09
in G major / Sol majeur / G-Dur, op.121a
Piano Trio no.11
in E flat major / Mi bémol majeur / Es-Dur, WoO 38
29 | I. Allegro moderato 4’09
30 | II. Scherzo 4’48
31 | III. Rondo 4’43
32 | Piano Trio no.12 4’54
in B flat major / Si bémol majeur / B-Dur, WoO 39



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