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Archduke / Ghost Trios

7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 8, 2000
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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.
  • Sample this album Title (Sample)
1
30
12:10
Album Only
2
30
6:24
3
30
10:58
Album Only
4
30
7:19
5
30
9:52
6
30
9:02
7
30
8:21

Product Details

  • Performer: Jos van Immerseel, Vera Beths, Anner Bylsma
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (August 8, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B00004W5A1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,350 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

5 star
71%
4 star
29%
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0%
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Frederick II of Hohenstaufen on February 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
First things first: I am a period instrument enthusiast who enjoys historically informed performances. That being said, I usually prefer classical recordings that use a modern piano rather than fortepiano for obvious reasons. At times, Beethoven seems to have intuited that the fortepiano would soon be improved upon and wrote music for this soon-to-be instrument.

So, I was hesitant to buy this recording, but took a chance due to my high regard for Anner Bylsma. Wow! I was thrilled from the start of the "Archduke" and this joy continued through the ending Presto of the "Ghost". The recorded sound is brilliant and the sound of the fortepiano did not dissapoint me in the least. In fact, this is my absolute favorite recording of the "Archduke" I've ever heard. Very highly recommended!!!
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By ymatsui4 on January 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Undoubtedly this performance of 'Archduke' Trio is the greatest one I have ever heard. Immerseel's period piano has a modest power so that intimate conversations between piano and cello or piano and violin are very pleasant to hear. And we eventually experience a mighty climax in the Finale, which has been often criticized as 'too much open-buttoned'. Together with the superb recording, this CD can be recommended for all music lovers.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt on August 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
No matter how many recordings of these works you have (and I have more than I will admit to my wife) you must get this one. Jos, Vera and Anner are having a blast here, especially in the Ghost, which is easily my favorite performance ever of that work. The Archduke has one flaw that bothers me, but I find this issue with most every recording of it to some extent: this must be a tough piece for the pianist. I get the feeling there's no place to hide, no pounding virtuosity that--though most people don't realize it--is actually a great place to *hide* technical weaknesses. Opus 97 demands rhythmic evenness (avoid rushing without sounding mechanical), subtle shading of dynamics and a great sense of phrasing. There are moments here where Immerseel fails. In the opening phrase, the first two chords are languid and then he lurches forward on the third, finally settling out on the fourth. I know counting bars sounds pedantic, but trust me, if you're listening carefully, it's jarring. Similarly, there are incompletely-voiced chords, some mangled trills in the famous pizzicato part, and a climax right after that where a trill starts on the wrong note (at precisely 8:40). In the second movement, like nearly every pianist, he slightly rushes the crescendo that introduces the second theme. (Many rush it more than slightly.) I have a feeling that this moment is tough for pianists because they have to increase volume and you do that by pounding harder, but this also, in rapid repeated chords, makes you speed up. (I wonder if using the shoulders for weight instead of the elbows would help. Claudio Arrau said this technique allowed him to play loudly in a more relaxed manner as well as avoid fatigue.) Moments like that made me wince, especially when his partners do such a great job.Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on September 22, 2009
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.
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