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Beethoven: The Piano Trios [Box set, Import]

Beaux Arts Trio Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Frequently Bought Together

Beethoven: The Piano Trios + Haydn: Complete Piano Trios + Mozart: The Complete Piano Trios; Clarinet Trio
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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Sep 2001)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00005ND43
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,041 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.1 in E flat, Op.1 No.1 - 1. AllegroMenahem Pressler10:08£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.1 in E flat, Op.1 No.1 - 2. Adagio cantabileMenahem Pressler 9:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.1 in E flat, Op.1 No.1 - 3. Scherzo (Allegro)Menahem Pressler 4:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.1 in E flat, Op.1 No.1 - 4. Finale (Presto)Menahem Pressler 6:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.2 in G, Op.1 No.2 - 1. Adagio - Allegro vivaceMenahem Pressler 9:51£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.2 in G, Op.1 No.2 - 2. Largo con espressioneMenahem Pressler12:08£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.2 in G, Op.1 No.2 - 3. Scherzo (Allegro)Menahem Pressler 3:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.2 in G, Op.1 No.2 - 4. Finale (Presto)Menahem Pressler 7:51£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.8 in 1 Movement in B flat, WoO 39 - 1. AllegrettoMenahem Pressler 7:39£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.3 in C minor, Op.1 No.3 - 1. Allegro con brioMenahem Pressler 8:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.3 in C minor, Op.1 No.3 - 2. Andante cantabile con variazioniMenahem Pressler 9:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.3 in C minor, Op.1 No.3 - 3. Menuetto (Quasi allegro)Menahem Pressler 3:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.3 in C minor, Op.1 No.3 - 4. Finale (Prestissimo)Menahem Pressler 5:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.6 in E flat, Op.70 No.2 - 1. Poco sostenuto - Allegro ma non troppoMenahem Pressler10:24£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.6 in E flat, Op.70 No.2 - 2. AllegrettoMenahem Pressler 5:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.6 in E flat, Op.70 No.2 - 3. Allegro ma non troppoMenahem Pressler 5:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.6 in E flat, Op.70 No.2 - 4. Finale (Allegro)Menahem Pressler 8:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.10 in E flat, Op.44, 14 Variations on an Original Theme - 1. Tema (Andante) con variazioniMenahem Pressler14:37£1.89  Buy MP3 


Disc 3:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.7 in B flat, Op.97 "Archduke" - 1. Allegro moderatoBeaux Arts Trio14:01£1.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.7 in B flat, Op.97 "Archduke" - 2. Scherzo (Allegro)Beaux Arts Trio 6:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.7 in B flat, Op.97 "Archduke" - 3. Andante cantabile, ma però con moto - Poco più adagioBeaux Arts Trio13:33£1.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.7 in B flat, Op.97 "Archduke" - 4. Allegro moderatoBeaux Arts Trio 6:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.9 in E flat, WoO 38 - 1. Allegro moderatoMenahem Pressler 4:52£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.9 in E flat, WoO 38 - 2. Scherzo (Allegro ma non troppo)Menahem Pressler 5:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.9 in E flat, WoO 38 - 3. Rondo (Allegretto)Menahem Pressler 5:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.11 in G, Op.121a, 10 Variations on "Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu" - 1. Introduzione (Adagio assai) - Tema (Allegretto) con variazioniBeaux Arts Trio18:59£2.29  Buy MP3 


Disc 4:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Trio in E flat, Op.38 after the Septet Op.20 - 1. Adagio - Allegro con brioBeaux Arts Trio10:22£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Trio in E flat, Op.38 after the Septet Op.20 - 2. Adagio cantabileBeaux Arts Trio10:05£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Trio in E flat, Op.38 after the Septet Op.20 - 3. Tempo di menuettoBeaux Arts Trio 3:22£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Trio in E flat, Op.38 after the Septet Op.20 - 4. Andante con variazioniBeaux Arts Trio 7:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Trio in E flat, Op.38 after the Septet Op.20 - 5. Scherzo (Allegro molto e vivace)Beaux Arts Trio 3:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Trio in E flat, Op.38 after the Septet Op.20 - 6. Andante con moto alla marcia - PrestoBeaux Arts Trio 7:51£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.5 in D, Op.70 No.1 - "Geistertrio" - 1. Allegro vivace e con brioBeaux Arts Trio10:16£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.5 in D, Op.70 No.1 - "Geistertrio" - 2. Largo assai ed espressivoBeaux Arts Trio11:38£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.5 in D, Op.70 No.1 - "Geistertrio" - 3. PrestoBeaux Arts Trio 8:11£1.09  Buy MP3 


Disc 5:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Trio in D after Symphony No.2 - 1. Adagio - Allegro con brioBeaux Arts Trio13:25£1.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Trio in D after Symphony No.2 - 2. Larghetto quasi andanteBeaux Arts Trio11:48£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Trio in D after Symphony No.2 - 3. ScherzoBeaux Arts Trio 3:51£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Trio in D after Symphony No.2 - 4. Allegro moltoBeaux Arts Trio 6:58£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano trio movement in E flat, Hess 48 - 1. -Beaux Arts Trio 4:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.4 in B flat, for Clarinet, Piano and Cello, Op. 11 "Gassenhauer-Trio" - 1. Allegro con brioBeaux Arts Trio 8:58£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.4 in B flat, for Clarinet, Piano and Cello, Op. 11 "Gassenhauer-Trio" - 2. AdagioBeaux Arts Trio 5:41£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Trio No.4 in B flat, for Clarinet, Piano and Cello, Op. 11 "Gassenhauer-Trio" - 3. Tema con Variazioni. AndanteBeaux Arts Trio 7:06£0.79  Buy MP3 


Product Description

5CD W/Beaux Arts Trio

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful playing 5 Dec 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
These recordings are wonderful. The music is beautifully played with such delicacy, grace, and power one can get completely lost in Beethoven's sound world. It is also a very good value set.
As regards the Archduke, the piano is wonderfully sonorous with a rich pleasing tone and on my equipment the cello and violin are both clearly audible but not to the front of the sound. I find the experience most pleasing. I have other recordings where the cello and violin are to the fore and would buy this set for the Archduke.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Buy It For The Archduke 22 Dec 2006
Format:Audio CD
Well played and recorded. I think the opus 1 trios fare best and are works of some consequence which I had not previously heard. Recording quality is excellent but unfortunately I had a real problem with the Archduke which is the key piece for me. The balance of the instruments is difficult to accept but probably bearable in the other pieces. Piano dominates violin and cello. Third movement is good- one of the best- but elsewhere one wonders why violinist and cellist put up with this. In the final movement the violin's tripping contribution two thirds of the way through is pathetically quiet and has little effect. In addition to the volume issue the piano is played in a fairly robust way (though well ) rather than the "tinkling " of a Kempff. Having already the Stern/Rose/Istomin version with its poorish sound quality ( although a good performance )and numerous little clicks ( at least on my copy ) and the Kempff/ Fournier/Szering this Beaux Arts version is the best in sound but worst in instrument balance. The Kempff etc. version is virtually perfect interpretatively but the negative here is ? Szering's irritating respiratory intakes in the third movement. Fournier's cello tone is wonderful and apart from his respiratory contribution Szering is also fine. Kempff as usual has a simple and tasteful way with this as most of his records. I shall probably try the Florestan's at some point. I also liked the Kempff "Ghost" a lot and the Stern "Ghost" is likewise good with better sound than the Archduke. Both preferable to this Beaux Arts one.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
74 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Recordings Of Beethoven's Piano Trios 10 Nov 2001
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a newly released [budget] set containing the Beaux Arts Trio's second traversal of all of Beethoven's piano trios, plus some interesting oddities such as the trio based on Beethoven's Second Symphony. I recently acquired this 5 CD collection and am quite impressed by the warm, vibrant playing from the Beaux Arts Trio: pianist Menachem Pressler, cellist Bernard Greenhouse and violinist Isidore Cohen. Although some critics contend that the Beaux Arts Trio's 1960's version is more riveting than their late 1970's/early 1980's version, I find the latter quite compelling on its own. The playing is absolutely first rate, replete with much warmth and empathy for Beethoven's scores. The sound quality is also fine, even if it doesn't feature Philips' latest digital image bit remastering.
58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Beaux Arts Trio masterpiece 17 May 2005
By Alan Lekan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
In their 50th year now, The Beaux Arts Trio has achieved legendary status for their crisp, elegant, and polished playing and adherence to the spirit of the music. Pianist Menahem Pressler (the last remaining original member) finesefully drives the music forward with his deft and articulate keyboard work that is always marvelously alive and bouyant. His style has an attractive lyrical quality to it which blends marvously with the two strings whose playing is of the highest caliber. It doesn't seem the Beaux Arts Trio recorded many "duds" as far as I can tell, and this excellent 5-CD set is no exception. And while their classy playing might project a slightly more refined than dramatic Beethoven here, such a style is well suited to the classical-era style of these earlier works prior to 1805 and Beethoven's slow-but-sure departure from classical forms and mannerisms.

Part of this more 'classical Beethoven' found in most of the trios here is partly because of the genre. The piano trio genre was not the place Beethoven experimented or "went all out" - as he did in his symphonies, quartets and piano sonatas - but more a genre he wrote to sell music (although the empassioned C-minor trio of Opus 1 seems more written for Beethoven's own expression). In the late 1700's, the piano trio was a popular combination for the home music market for many a Vieneese amatuer. Also, it was common and in demand for composers and publishers to transpose popular orchestral works down to the piano trio (such as the two in this set) for this market of paying customers. What was also a trend then was including the themes of the latest "pop music" people were humming around town in theme & variation movements, which is seen here in some of the trios in this 5-CD set.

The quality of music Beethoven wrote in the trios is very good and highly enjoyable to listen to. Surprizingly, some of Beethoven's finest piano trios are found in his Opus 1 set - the very first compositions Beethoven found worthy of publication. These were written in his early 20's and already show the musical skills and depth of a fully-mature composer. Highlights of these recordings are the attractive and musically-rich Opus 1 set mentioned, the magnificant opus 70 two trios, and the noble, heroic-period "Archduke Trio" - perhaps the most famous of them all. The Beaux Arts Trio not only brings out the power and drama of the fast movements quite well (a stunning C-minor Op.1 no. 3), but especially conveys a most attractive lyrical quality in the slow movements with great beauty and sensitivity, such as in the haunghtingly attractive Largo of the famous "Ghost" trio, (Op. 70 no. 1).

This is a really high quality and distinguished set of recordings packaged nicely in a super-slim box for easy storage and offered at an attractive price. Bottom line is they play this music superbly. Another Beaux Arts Trio set that is equally staturesque and warmly recommended is their 9-CD set of Haydn's Piano Trios (Philips). Compositions - 5 stars; Performance - 5 stars; Sound quality - 4 stars.
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Caution On This Set 20 Feb 2006
By Morton B. Fairtile - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The piano is not balanced with the violin and cello, it drowns them out. The violin at times is quite muted and the cello is often indistinct. Listen to the samples critically before buying. I found the same problem on another Philips set of Haydn Piano Trios.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Careful Comparison 22 Sep 2009
By Giordano Bruno - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I used to listen to the Beethoven piano trios on LPs, the original releases by the Beaux arts Trio (Presler, Cohen, Greenhouse). It was 'in-house' wisdom that those were the standard of interpretation. I was satisfied enough to have replaced the LPs with the complete-box re-release of CDs three or four years ago. I don't want to say that I'm suddenly dissatisfied with the Beaux Arts performances. I'm not. They remain the standard of excellence for performance on modern piano and strings.

Nevertheless, the recording of Haydn's Last Four Piano Trios by Robert Levin, Anner Bylsma, and Vera Beths impressed me as such a revelation that I hastened to buy this CD of Beethoven's two most popular piano trios, to see what difference the historical instruments might make. The keyboardist on this CD is Jos van Immerseel in place of Robert Levin. I played this and my older recording "back to back", movement by movement, Opus 70 #1 first and then Opus 97. Quite an afternoon of listening pleasure!

Most people living in the 19th Century, Beethoven's contemporaries and their heirs, would have made their acquaintance with Beethoven's music from the page, from playing it themselves rather than hearing it in a concert hall. That would have been especially true of chamber works like these piano trios; in many cases, we know exactly for whom Beethoven composed such music, who played it first, etc. We know some of the occasions when Beethoven himself played the fortepiano (he NEVER played the instrument we call a piano today), often with members of the household on the violin and cello. Such music was written for elegant pleasure, for shared entertainment in the salons of the wealthy. People of lesser means but rich enough to own instruments would soon have had the opportunity to buy the printed scores and imitate the elegance of their "betters". The image of Beethoven elaborated by later romantic historians, as a thunderous social radical and uncompromising musical tyrant, is partly humbug and partly based on the composer's unfortunate attempts to keep playing despite his deafness. What this all leads to, in my mind, is the necessity of remembering that these and other pieces of Beethoven's chamber music should NOT be overinterpreted. They should be beautiful to hear above all. They should embody both the taste, and to challenges to that taste, of the era in which they were composed. That would seem to be a central tenet of "historically informed" performance.

So... the first thing most listeners will hear in the comparison of the Beaux Arts vs. the Immerseel/Bylsma/Beth is that the former interpret the music more dramatically. It's hard for me not to declare that they overplay some passages, that they coarsen the music with romantic excess. The historical instrument trio tends to let the music "speak for itself" in affect, and to concentrate on purely musical values. I rush to confess, mind you, that I never 'heard' the Beaux Arts people as overinterpreting until I played this track-to-track match-up.

The next thing I heard was that the fortepiano had certain advantages for THIS music over the modern grand piano. Obviously the modern piano has resources the fortepiano lacked. The timbre of the lower and higher octaves on the modern piano is far more consistent; the forte piano sounds tinkly in its highest range and plunky in its lowest. However, for THIS music, such a contrast of timbre is quite satisfactory. It clarifies the voicing and emphasizes the contrast of registers. The fortepiano lacked the pedal controls of the modern piano, but listening to the two instruments in comparison, I find that Menahem Pressler of Beaux Arts depended far too much on damping the piano-string resonance by pedal. The quick decay of the 'lighter' fortepiano produces a cleaner, more transparent, more elegant sound. A more subtle difference will be heard only on high quality sound equipment; the modern piano, with its crossed string construction, inevitably 'contaminates' its notes with sympathetic vibrations, producing a low rumble of dissonance. Hence the tuning of the fortepiano is purer and acoustically simpler.

The dynamic range of the modern piano, from softest to loudest, is far greater than that of the fortepiano, especially toward the fortissimo side. But when Pressler coaxes his piano to its most energetic forte, the violin of Isadore Cohen becomes shrill and edgy. Odd that modern metal strings should sound more 'feline' than pre-modern 'cat gut' strings! On the whole, though Vera Beths is a less skilled player than Cohen, the sound of her violin is sweeter and better balanced with the fortepiano. Remember my premise, that the beauty of this music trumps the melodrama! (This inherent balance problem is what has prompted other reviewers to give the Beaux Arts recordings low ratings.)

As for the cellos, the comparison is easy. Anner Bylsma is profoundly more sensitive to the ensemble values of these trios, more generous, more fundamentally musical, than modern cellist Bernard Greenhouse, and once again the gut strings of the historical cello sound sweeter and blend better.

The Beaux Arts box is a great performance and a great value; I have no complaints about it. But if a complete set of Beethoven's fortepiano trios performed by Bylsma&Co were available, I'd recommend it as the better choice. Head to head, I prefer Bylsma&Co on every movement of these two trios except the Largo Assai of the "Ghost" trio, which the Beaux Arts bunch performs exquisitely.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Box Set 7 May 2009
By Ulisses Braga-Neto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Pressler and co. deliver here nearly six hours of brilliant Beethoven pieces. Listening to the music in this collection from start to finish, there is really no gap, no moment where composer or performers were at less than their best. The Beaux Arts Trio's combined musicianship and chemistry is unsurpassed, in my modest opinion.

For the fans of Antonio Meneses, such as myself, it is important to point out that he was not part of the Beaux Arts Trio at the time of this recording. Bernard Greenhouse plays the cello instead, with Isidore Cohen at the violin, all with great competence. This minor disappointment ended up taking really nothing away from my enjoyment of this recording.

I believe Beethoven to be at the peak of his vast musical powers in this format, the piano trio. For me, it is at the same level of his piano sonatas, piano concertos, and of course the symphonies. It is interesting to note that the first three piano trios, published together as his opus no. 1, have four movements, in a structure reminiscent of the classical symphony. One also finds here a transcription of symphony no. 2 to the piano trio, made by Beethoven himself. Yet another transcription is the unnumbered Piano Trio in E flat major, which is an arrangement of the famous Septet op. 20.

Strongly recommended, and at this price, it is unbeatable for the quality and quantity of music.

EDIT: I found out today (May 7), with some sadness, that the Beaux Arts Trio has disbanded after 53 years. They gave their last performance on August 24, 2008. Menahem Pressler will accept, on behalf of the Trio, the prestigious Edison lifetime achievement award (other recipients include Kiri Te Kanawa and Rostropovitch) in the Netherlands this June.
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