Thank you for piano trio suggestion of Beethoven Opus 1 Number 1!

Edited: June 23, 2019, 5:13 AM · I had posted a question for our just formed, informal trio after we played the Haydn 'gypsy' trio, re what to tackle next and several people suggested among other pieces, Beethoven Opus 1 Number 1. My father plays cello and he and i have easy access to each other and play around the same level, with the pianist much more skilled but we see him less (they are both well into their 80s). So my father and I practiced the first two movements quite a bit as a 'duet', got used to 4 flats (after hollering "D FLAT" to each other many times!), then met up with the pianist and had great fun playing it! The first movement really flies along and the second sings out so beautifully! Gave us many hours of pleasure. We'll meet up in a few weeks to work on it some more. Any suggestions of number 2 vs 3 next? Or other ideas? I'd love to play the Archduke but it seems much harder. Again thanks, your recommendations have been so helpful.

Replies (5)

June 23, 2019, 9:02 AM · Together with the Bridge Miniatures (not necessarily all of them) you've got the makings of a recital there.
June 23, 2019, 11:09 AM · Thanks Paul. You were very helpful in my initial search. Were having such fun playing the Bethoven. I'll look at the Bridge Miniatures
June 23, 2019, 3:52 PM · Keep playing the Mozart and Beethoven trios. They are wonderful and fun. However, do not approach the Archduke or the Ghost trios until you have a good handle on the rest of Mozart and Beethoven.
Edited: June 23, 2019, 6:32 PM · Beethoven op. 1: All three are good and highly recommended . Beethoven was much too ambitious to publish anything mediocre as his opus 1. No. 2 is the least famous of the three, no. 3 the most famous on account of its key of c-minor. You will probably realize that you heard no. 3 before when/if you play it.

Op. 12 is for clarinet, piano and cello and the clarinet part is not very comfortable on the fiddle IMO (I have to admit that this judgement is based an a single sight reading of the piece).

There is another Beethoven trio without an opus number listed in IMSLP (trio WoO 38); I do not know it at all but there is a recording on IMSLP and a Wikipedia article about it. It seems perfectly playable for you.

The rest of Beethoven's trios falls much later in his career and is therefor technically and musically more demanding. One that is not often played is op. 70 no. 2 (the companion to the "ghost"). It is kind of mellow for Beethoven but very enjoyable and you might at least look at it.

Mozart: K 548 in C-Major is the only one I have played. We worked it up for a performance. The piano part is more dominating than in Beethoven but all three parts are enjoyable. The cello has some lovely solos in the slow movement. Mozart biographers consider this work inferior to his other trios. Don't believe them. If you work on it for a while you will get a sense for its quality.

For a change there is also an early trio by Schubert (D. 28): https://imslp.org/wiki/Piano_Trio_in_B-flat_major%2C_D.28_(Schubert%2C_Franz)
I remember my brother and I and a neighbor's boy laboring at it when we were kids. But it is not terribly hard and has the prettiness typical for early Schubert chamber music. There is only one movement (Allegro). Not something to work on for a long time but a nice piece to relax with.

June 23, 2019, 7:20 PM · Thanks Tom and Albrecht. That list, Albrecht, is great and i pasted it into a file for future reference. I'm listening to the beautiful Schubert now, and looking forward to tackling it.


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