Notes and Editorial Reviews
A magnificent cycle - superb interpretations that haven't been superseded
The Beethoven piano trios have been at the hub of the Beaux Arts Trio's repertoire throughout its long history. Despite a series of personnel switches, the group's approach to Beethoven has remained outstandingly consistent for more than 40 years. The first ever Beaux Arts Beethoven set is currently available in Philips' "The Early Years" series. It was produced during the mid-1960s and did not include transcriptions of the Op. 20 Septet or Second symphony. When Isador Cohen replaced founding violinist Daniel Guilet in 1968, the group (which also included the pianist Menahem Pressler, longest serving member of the ensemble, and cellist
Bernard Greenhouse) would not return to Beethoven for another decade.
The trio's next traversal, heard here, was recorded between 1979 and 1983. This magnificent cycle still has but one serious rival, in the shape of Vol. 9 of DG's "Complete Beethoven Edition", which includes performances by the Kempff-Szeryng-Fournier trio. DG's recordings were acceptable, but unlike Philips' they never were in the demonstration category. Now that the Beaux Arts Trio's second cycle is available again, DG's set seems less attractive, though its superbly illustrated booklet is well worth having anyway.
These performances, issued in 1991, are superb interpretations that haven't been superseded.
--Michael Jameson, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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