L Beethoven .V. / Sitkovetsky Trio - Piano Trios, Vol. 3 (Hybr) | RECORD STORE DAY

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With the three piano trios published in 1795, Op. 1, Ludwig van Beethoven took a genre still largely associated with salon music and raised it up to rival the string quartet. In these works Beethoven saw the true start of his creative journey. Likely to have been composed (at least in a preliminary version) before his move from his native Bonn to Haydn and Mozart's Vienna, the Trio in E flat major, Op. 1 No. 1, reveals a composer who, while still drawing inspiration from his illustrious elders, begins to display his own witty personality marked by impish, sometimes tigerish playfulness.Composed about fifteen years later, the two Op. 70 trios 'raise the genre to a level from which the later piano trio literature could move forward' in the words of Beethoven specialist Lewis Lockwood. Indeed, they clearly made a mark on the later trios of Schumann, Brahms and Tchaikovsky. The first of them, played here, is the more significant. It's nickname, 'Ghost', refers to it's unsettling central movement characterized by 'horror' writing, displaying a range of chilling effects.The recording concludes with an arrangement by the trio's cellist, Isang Enders, of a catchy and eloquently simple Ukrainian Cossack tune from a collection of Beethoven's folk song arrangements that Schubert would no doubt have loved.