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Beethoven: The Three String Trios, Op. 9

Beethoven / Friedman / Vardi / Silberstein
Release Date: 03/13/2012 
Label:  Cembal D'amour   Catalog #: 165   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Erick FriedmanJascha SilbersteinEmanuel Vardi
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Three tonally and expressively compatible musicians elicit the most from Beethoven’s early string trios.

Three tonally and expressively compatible musicians are needed to elicit the most from Beethoven’s early string trios. That is certainly the case here, with the collaboration of three elite string players. Erick Friedman, whose youthful training with Heifetz was confirmed on disc and video, is joined by Emanuel Vardi, one of the most eminent violists of the second half of the twentieth century, and by Jascha Silberstein (1934-2008), less well known than his confreres, but who acquits himself with distinction here.
 
These 1977 recordings capture a wide sound spectrum, neither abrasively
Read more close - though the playing can be assertive and trenchant when necessary - nor too billowing such as to diffuse unisons. It allows one to concentrate on the core of things. Ensemble is tight, vibrato usage well calibrated, the emotional temperature remaining quite appropriately, reserved in the first two and more engaged in the case of the most sophisticated trio, the C minor. They bring out the strongly lyrical core of the G major, with virtuosity subjugated in the interests of a more malleable communicative spirit. Pathos is mined in the slow movement, and a brisk, bright and engaging spirit develops in the Presto finale. The three players colour vividly and well.
 
What is refreshing about these performances is the sense of lively interplay, something very audible in the D major where the slow movement, an Andante quasi Allegretto is well judged. There’s nothing clammy here, the phrasing remaining clean-limbed but not cool. It’s the C minor that draws out the most ardent phrasing and tonal breadth from the trio, especially Friedman. A tautly expressive ethos floods the Adagio, but the sureness of the rhythm precludes any wallowing. The three string players bring considerable clarity to their playing, thus revealing many contrapuntal subtleties, and never allow things to obscure harmonic shifts. They also ensure that these details are not unduly attention-grabbing, not an easy balancing act to accomplish. At points the playing may strike one as too spruce, but I think as a whole it remains finely moderated.
 
-- Jonathan Woolf , MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello no 3 in G major, Op. 9 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Jascha Silberstein (Cello), Emanuel Vardi (Viola)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1977 
Length: 24 Minutes 29 Secs. 
2. Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello no 4 in D major, Op. 9 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jascha Silberstein (Cello), Emanuel Vardi (Viola), Erick Friedman (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1977 
Length: 22 Minutes 14 Secs. 
3. Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello no 5 in C minor, Op. 9 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Erick Friedman (Violin), Emanuel Vardi (Viola), Jascha Silberstein (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1977 
Length: 22 Minutes 55 Secs. 

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