The third series of the complete recordings of the works for piano trio made by the Swiss Piano Trio presents a key work of Beethoven – the Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1, No. 3 published in 1795 – which also achieved central importance for Beethoven’s music beyond the genre of the piano trio.
Already here, Beethoven tested the approach of a condensation of thematic relationships in order to create a compelling formal and dramatic plot, at the same time creating a broad expressive spectrum.
The fifth Piano Trio in E-flat major, Op. 70, No. 2 composed in 1808 goes a decisive step beyond that: unexpected elements and a subjectification come to light here that were to exercise a substantial influence on the romantic generation.
The 14 Variations on an Original Theme in E-flat major, Op. 44, unfortunately regarded as merely a work of secondary importance, reveal a witty and calculating composer who is able to elicit an incredible plethora of variations and metamorphoses from a banal triadic theme. It is to a certain extent a „finger exercise“, but it reveals in each moment the superiority of the composer Beethoven, admired by and puzzling to his contemporaries in equal measure.