Beethoven

Piano Trios Vol. 4

Beethoven’s most famous piano trio is dedicated to the Archduke Rudolph, himself an accomplished musician.

The importance of Rudolph as a patron can be seen in the number of other prominent works that Beethoven dedicated to him. Beethoven started work on the trio in the second half of 1810, but much of the work was done in March of the next year. Some descriptions give an inkling of how novel a composition this was perceived to be, and a young Ignaz Moscheles reported: ‘In the case of how many compositions is the word “new” misapplied! But never in Beethoven’s, and least of all in this, which again is full of originality.’ – From the booklet notes 

‘One of the most engaging qualities of this trio’s Beethoven cycle has been its feeling of intimacy – of three players, each with an attractive sound, playing together with a sense of something understood. They now reach the final summit of the Archduke, and I’m pleased to say that they haven’t let the altitude go to their heads. Chamber music performances in the best sense: modest in proportion but rich in insight.’

Gramophone

‘There are so many things in this performance of the “Archduke” to savor, but surely the opening of the slow movement has never been so nobly or so magisterially played. One of the great piano trio performances in the history of recording.’

Fanfare Magazine

‘The Van Baerle Trio puts its heart and soul into Beethoven, turning small things into jewels. In other places the trio plays so warmly and intimately that it almost takes your breath away, because the unity among the musicians is so touching.’

WDR 3 Tonart