Frank Thomas (Violin); Frank Whitnall (Violoncello); Vera McComb Thomas (Pianoforte)
Beethoven, when he played his own works, did not as a player always get from the critical the high praise they gave to him as a composer. When this Trio was first heard in public, three years after its completion, the young Moscheles (later to be known as a famous Pianist and Teacher) wrote in his diary that the music was 'full of originality', but that the Composer's playing 'lacked clearness and precision'; still, the critic 'observed several traces of the grand style of playing'. There are four Movements in the Trio.
The First is cheerful and bold, very clearly made out of two main tunes, with scarcely any subsidiary matter.
The Second Movement is a gay, jesting piece, a Scherzo. In the middle section an odd, creeping theme is set forth in fugal style, each instrument having a cut at it in turn. Then the first section is repeated, and in the Coda (tailpiece) we have recollections of the chief themes of both sections.
The Third Movement is a set of five Variations on a simple, appealing theme.
The Last Movement is a Rondo in which two main tunes alternate, with (after the second appearance of the opening one) an episode of new matter in the middle. Then the two Main Tunes reappear, and a Coda at full speed exhilaratingly winds up.
Performed by the British National Opera Company.
Relayed from the Opera House, Manchester
The British National Opera