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Beethoven: Sonatas and Trios - The Queen's Chamber Trio CD

Beethoven: Sonatas and Trios - The Queen's Chamber Trio CD

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"The Lyrichord set of sonatas and trios is unusual because instead of using a piano, or even a fortepiano, the keyboard part is played by a harpsichord, an instrument that had fallen pretty much out of use by Beethoven's time. Harpsichordist Elaine Comparone makes an exuberant case in her liner notes for using the harpsichord instead of piano, suggesting that the harpsichord's plucked strings blend better with the violin and cello than the hammer-struck strings of the piano. She also mentions that the harpsichord's smaller sound cannot drown out the sounds of the violin and cello. My feeling is that she simply wanted to play this music and felt that her instrument could add something unique to it. It is clear that she is having the time of her life let loose in the expressive realm of the early 19th Century, in the company of two very fine string players....I found the first trio, Beethoven's Opus 1:1, really enjoyable because of the ability of the harpsichord to match the violin's off-the-string articulations so perfectly. It is very difficult to get the kind of lightness that the passagework in this piece demands on the piano, but it sounds easy and natural on the harpsichord... Comparone uses the agogic placement of the notes quite effectively to give the illusion of legato, and she plays quite beautifully and expressively in the cantabile passages. The overall color of the harpsichord-crowned ensemble shines a whole new light on a very familiar piece, and the sheer joy that Comparone seems to take in playing Beethoven on her instrument gives the reading a feeling of freshness and even a little naughtiness."
-Elaine Fine
THE AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
November/December 2009

"It's well known that most string players worth their rosin eventually come to resent hearing how Beethoven put the piano's name first on the title pages when he published his violin and cello sonatas just because he thought the piano part was more important. The Queen's Chamber Trio - Robert Zubrycki, violin; Peter Seidenberg, cello; Elaine Comparone, harpsichord - equipped sonically with a 1700 Grancino, the “Ex-Romberg” cello, and a William Dowd replica of a 1720 Blanchet harpsichord, suggest otherwise.

This fascinating two-CD set includes recordings of Beethoven's Cello Sonata, Op. 5, No. 2; Violin Sonata , Op. 12, No. 1; and Piano Trios, Op. 1, Nos. 1 and 3.

Initially sturdy results give rise to curiosity, then engagement, as if the players were clearing the aural palate. Suddenly, a veil seems to lift and, in particular, the two piano trios give rise to charming stylistic fantasies, impossible with the modern piano, in which harmonic layers and instrumental colors coexist with almost indecent transparency to serve some of the first transparency to serve some of the first stirrings of Beethoven's proud and forceful personality."
-Laurence Vittes
STRINGS
NOVEMBER 2009

They've done it with Mozart. They've done it with Haydn. Now the superb Queen's Chamber Trio takes a fresh, revolutionary look at Beethoven's keyboard trios and sonatas, today typically played on modern grand piano or fortepiano. The Trio's innovative approach enlivens these pieces with harpsichord sparkle and a delicious blend of plucked and bowed strings.
Produced by John Ostendorf. Works include Sonata in G Minor, Op. 5, No. 2 for cello and harpsichord, Sonata in D Major, Op. 12, No. 1 for violin and harpsichord, Trio in E Flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1, for violin, Trio in C Minor, Op. 3, No. 3


The Tracks

Sonata in G Minor, Op. 5, No. 2 for Cello and Harpsichord:
1. Adagio sostenuto e espressivo - 4:23
Sonata in G Minor, Op. 5, No. 2 for Cello and Harpsichord:
2. Allegro molto - 11:07
Sonata in G Minor, Op. 5, No. 2 for Cello and Harpsichord:
3. Rondo: Allegro - 10:20
Sonata in D Major, Op. 12, No. 1 for Violin and Harpsichord:
4. Allegro con brio - 9:49
Sonata in D Major, Op. 12, No. 1 for Violin and Harpsichord:
5. Theme - 1:34
Sonata in D Major, Op. 12, No. 1 for Violin and Harpsichord:
6. Variation I - 1:28
Sonata in D Major, Op. 12, No. 1 for Violin and Harpsichord:
7. Variation II - 1:21
Sonata in D Major, Op. 12, No. 1 for Violin and Harpsichord:
8. Variation III - 1:06
Sonata in D Major, Op. 12, No. 1 for Violin and Harpsichord:
9. Variation IV - 2:23
Sonata in D Major, Op. 12, No. 1 for Violin and Harpsichord:
10. Rondo: Allegro - 5:30

Disc 2 (69:09)
Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1 for Violin, Cello and Harpsichord:
1. Allegro - 11:03
Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1 for Violin, Cello and Harpsichord:
2. Adagio cantabile - 9:04
Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1 for Violin, Cello and Harpsichord:
3. Scherzo: Allegro assai - 5:50
Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1 for Violin, Cello and Harpsichord:
4. Finale: Presto - 8:46
Trio in C Minor, Op. 3, No. 3 for Violin, Cello and Harpsichord:
5. Allegro con brio - 11:01
Trio in C Minor, Op. 3, No. 3 for Violin, Cello and Harpsichord:
6. Andante cantabile and variations - 9:24
Trio in C Minor, Op. 3, No. 3 for Violin, Cello and Harpsichord:
7. Menuetto - 4:11
Trio in C Minor, Op. 3, No. 3 for Violin, Cello and Harpsichord:
8. Finale: Prestissimo - 9:44

Additional Information

Go to the Harpsichord Unlimited website for concert schedules and more info!

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