This recording of Beethoven Trios follows the Van Baerle Trio’s album dedicated to Mendelssohn’s piano trios, and their debut CD, which featured works by Saint-Sa ns, Loevendie and Ravel, received an Edison Award in 2013.
Beethoven’s primary reason for settling in Vienna in 1792 was to study with Joseph Haydn. Beethoven’s three Piano Trios op. 1 were the first compositions that he deemed important enough to give an opus number and were dedicated to Prince Karl Lichnowsky, one of his patrons. The trios contain four movements rather than the three that had been traditional in this genre. Although changes from major to minor had been common in the music of previous generations, where they would normally apply to just the last chord, Beethoven employs this technique more extensively.
Beethoven dedicated the Trio op. 11 to Maria Wilhelmine Countess of Thun- Hohenstein. He tried to make it a particularly attractive publication for the Viennese public: the trio could be performed with a clarinet instead of a violin, a flexible approach to instrumentation to increase its marketability. In addition, the last movement consists of a theme from Joseph Weigl’s comic opera L’amor marinaro, followed by a series of variations. At the time when Beethoven wrote this trio, Weigl’s opera was very popular in Vienna.
The Van Baerle Trio was founded in 2004 by the pianist Hannes Minnaar, violinist Maria Milstein and cellist Gideon den Herder. The name of the trio refers to the street where the three musicians met during their studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.