Three-quarters of one of the Naxos house ensembles, the Kodály Quartet, does the honours here for some lesser-known Beethoven.
History decided that string trios are fated to be string quartet’s little cousins, so it is probably apt that Beethoven’s writing in these two works has a certain outdoor aspect to it. It breathes life, a life relatively untrammelled by major emotional upheavals.
The Op. 3 Trio uses Mozart’s K503 Trio as a model, having the same number of movements (six). Yet it is in spirit entirely Beethovenian. The players here certainly try to emphasise the sunshine, although bear in mind that the rather sharp recording from Budapest’s Phoenix Studios can get in the way. Any shrillness of toneRead more is punished heartlessly by the microphones, but at least the dryness allows the sharp rhythmic play its full due. Falvay, Fejérvári and Éder are unfailingly musical, whether in the exploratory, sometimes ruminative first movement, in the eminently civilised ensuing Andante or in the eloquent and imaginative first Menuetto (in which silence has an intriguing part to play).
The Adagio is second only to the first movement in duration. It has breadth as well, if admittedly not the breadth of any of the quartet slow movements. Nevertheless there is a depth of utterance here that is on the same scale, perhaps, as the slow movement of the Piano Sonata Op. 10/1. The finale is given with a most affecting nonchalance, a kind of suave, throw-away feel that can only brighten one’s day.
The shadow of the Serenade idiom falls quite strongly over Op. 3, so the Op. 8 work is the ideal partner. Here the first movement is a Marcia, given in robust fashion; importantly, Falvay negotiates the tricky ornaments without ay sense of strain. Again six-movemented, it boasts an Adagio of deeper emotions than one might imagine – very sensitively rendered here - and as its penultimate offering a joyful, gutsy Allegretto alla Polacca; a further whinge about the recording here is that György Éder’s evident enjoyment of Beethoven’s writing is somewhat diminished by the lack of lower-register body. This piece ends with a Theme and Variations. The Theme itself is as well-behaved as can be. Beethoven, a master of the variation form, takes his material on a fascinating ten-minute journey.
It is true that this disc mirrors the content of the Leopold Trio on Hyperion (CDA67253) and cannot in the final analysis match it. But that is a full price offering, and for a fiver the three Hungarians provide ample enjoyment. Volume 2, I take it, will be the three Trios, Op. 9. Let’s hope it comes along soon.
Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello no 1 in E flat major, Op. 3by Ludwig van Beethoven Performer:
Attila Falvay (Violin),
György Éder (Cello),
Janos Fejervari (Viola)
Period: Classical Written: by 1794 Venue: Phoenix Studio, Budapest, Hungary Length: 39 Minutes 42 Secs. Notes: Phoenix Studio, Budapest, Hungary (01/07/2005 - 01/10/2005)
Serenade for Violin, Viola and Cello in D major, Op. 8by Ludwig van Beethoven Performer:
György Éder (Cello),
Janos Fejervari (Viola),
Attila Falvay (Violin)
Period: Classical Written: 1796-1797; Vienna, Austria Venue: Phoenix Studio, Budapest, Hungary Length: 27 Minutes 2 Secs. Notes: Phoenix Studio, Budapest, Hungary (01/07/2005 - 01/10/2005)
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Beautifully played triosMay 26, 2016By Gail M. (Goleta, CA)See All My Reviews"This disk presents excellent performances of Beethoven's Op. 3 and Op. 8 string trios. These early works are lively and interesting. I can find no fault with the tempos, balance, or coordination of the three instruments, each of which sound unusually fine. The recorded sound is clear and appropriate for this music, with microphones placed very close to the players. The room adds a distinctive presence that is immediately noticeable, but the ear soon adapts and it is not a drawback. However on Band 12 about 5 minutes into the finale of Op. 8 there are extraneous noises for about one minute, which might bother some listeners."Report Abuse