By giving the stringed instruments the status of genuinely equal partners with the piano, it was Beethoven who gave the piano trio the form it was to retain throughout the 19th century. This album presents the composer's last two works in the genre, Op.70 No.2 dedicated to Countess Marie Erdödy, and the celebrated 'Archduke' trio, which marked the final public appearance of its composer.
Three eminent Beethovenians, Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras and Alexander Melnikov join forces here in performances that aim to highlight Beethoven's humour in their interpretation and set a new benchmark in the process. Their next project will be Schumann Piano Trios to be recorded in May and released in 2015.
A cellist who tends towards introversion; a fortepianist who tends the other way. Put them together and something magical happens within the tensions they engender. Gramophone
Melnikov works wonders with his 1828 Graff piano, managing to make it less clattery and more piano-like than in most other fortepiano recordings BBC Music Magazine *****
a captivating performance … recorded in very clear, natural sound … This terrific new Harmonia Mundi disc can be recommended unreservedly. International Record Review