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Beethoven Trios for clarinet, cello and piano

Clarinetist Alf Hörberg and solo cellist Johannes Rostamo, both members of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, play trios by Beethoven on period instruments and are joined by pianist Bengt Forsberg.

In 2020, Beethoven’s 250th anniversary is celebrated all over the world. And there is no corona virus to stop that from happening, although some plans have had to be changed. In a recording from the Grünewald Hall at Konserthuset Stockholm, we listen to the two piano trios for clarinet, cello and piano, opuses 11 and 38. Performing here on period instruments makes them sound slightly different than with modern instruments – it brings us back to Beethoven’s own time.

The lighter trio op 11 was composed by the young Beethoven. The theme in the last movement was borrowed from the opera L’amor marinaro by Joseph Weigl, at that time an opera composer à la mode. The melody was so popular in Vienna that you could hear it being whistled by people in the streets. The trio is therefore sometimes named the Gassenhauer Trio, after the Austrian-German word for street, Gasse.

In the trio op 38 Beethoven on the other hand borrowed a melody from himself. The famous theme in this trio’s fourth movement was taken from the Piano Sonata op 49 No 2, one of the less demanding sonatas composed in order for amateur pianists to be able to play it. This warm-sounding piano trio was the result of Beethoven’s own arrangement of the Septet op 20.

  • The music

  • Ludwig van Beethoven Trio for clarinet, cello and piano op 11
  • Ludwig van Beethoven Trio for clarinet, cello and piano op 38
  • Participants

  • Alf Hörberg clarinet
  • Johannes Rostamo cello
  • Bengt Forsberg hammerklavier
  • Published online 2 October 2020. 
  • Filmed 11 & 12 May 2020.
  • The video is approximately one hour.

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