The Beethoven Project Trio
- CDR 90000 118
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The recently launched Beethoven Project Trio makes its CD debut with the world premiere recording of Beethoven’s recently rediscovered Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Hess 47, plus two more rarely-heard Beethoven piano trios.
The ensemble: pianist George Lepauw, violinist Sang Mee Lee, and cellist Wendy Warner — all internationally known soloists — gave the world premiere performance of the “Hess 47” piano trio on March 1, 2009, in a Chicago concert that received worldwide attention.
The piece is an original reworking, by Beethoven himself, of his String Trio, Op. 3, though he finished only the first movement. In a concert review, Chicago Tribune critic John von Rhein wrote that the work “casts revealing light on the master’s working methods. . . . The piano part abounds in forte and piano contrasts that lend surprise and color.”
Also on the new CD is a pair of Beethoven piano trios that received their American premieres at the same 2009 concert. The passionate and dramatic Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 63, which Beethoven based on his String Quintet, Op. 4 and Wind Octet, Op. 103 (an early work despite the late opus number). His early Piano Trio in D Major, Kinsky/Halm Anhang 3, was long mistaken as a work of Mozart’s because of its lyrical charm.
The Chicago Tribune praised the Beethoven Project Trio as a “splendid ensemble, playing with finely judged balance, evenness of sound and unanimity of style.”
Producer for this landmark studio recording is Max Wilcox, famed for his work on pianist Arthur Rubinstein’s RCA recordings, as well as projects with the Guarneri Quartet, Van Cliburn, Itzhak Perlman, and Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra.