Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Beethoven's "Archduke" Trio.

NAfME on Twitter notes that today is Ludwig Van Beethoven's 245th birthday and asks this question: "What is your favorite piece by the composer?" That's a tough one; the old Ludwig Van (the linked clip from A Clockwork Orange is NSFW) composed so much magnificent music from which to choose. My favorite is the first movement, allegro moderato, of his Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello No.6 in B flat, Op.97 "Archduke" (1812):


The clip above shows a performance by the John Gould Piano Trio (John Gould, violin; Anne Stevens, piano; and Rita Woolhouse, cello) at the Wesley Music Centre, Canberra, on August 1, 2010. The video is by Col Madden. I think this is an excellent performance, although my favorite remains the first one I heard, by Pablo Casals, Sandor Vegh, and Mieczyslaw Horszowski. What I especially like about Madden's video is how it shows the playing of the cello and violin, especially the part where they are played pizzicato; that is, by plucking the strings.