The 11 works Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) created for piano trio make up a group of pieces equally remarkable as his 16 string quartets. With over half of them written before 1800, prior to the composer’s turning 30, they clearly reveal his creative flights and struggles, first and foremost serving to attest to the grand formation of Beethoven’s compositional principles and the attainment of his apex. The present 4-CD album features the Suk Trio, who soon after their establishment in 1951 gained international renown and recognition. The recordings of Beethoven’s piano trios for Japan’s Nippon Columbia, completed within a short timeframe, from June 1983 to April 1984, were made by the mature ensemble when it included the violinist Josef Suk, the cellist Josef Chuchro and the pianist Josef Hála, who in 1980 had replaced Jan Panenka. Their sound was predominated by the strings, primarily the violin of Suk, who defined the interpretation principles.
The singularity of the trio and their recordings alike rests in infallible technique, sonic refinement, admirable interplay and profound musicality devoid of any showboating.