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Beethoven: Piano Trios Box set

31 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, October 9, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

The strength and foundation of the renowned Beaux Arts Trio lies right here: the complete piano trios of Ludwig Van Beethoven! All his numbered trios are here-his famous Archduke and Ghost trios plus Triosatz; Trio Op. 38 ; the unusual trio transcription of Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 , and more!

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Product Details

  • Performer: Beaux Arts Trio
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (October 9, 2001)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B00005ND43
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,555 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Alan Lekan on May 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In their 50th year now, The Beaux Arts Trio has achieved legendary status for their crisp, elegant, and polished playing and adherence to the spirit of the music. Pianist Menahem Pressler (the last remaining original member) finesefully drives the music forward with his deft and articulate keyboard work that is always marvelously alive and bouyant. His style has an attractive lyrical quality to it which blends marvously with the two strings whose playing is of the highest caliber. It doesn't seem the Beaux Arts Trio recorded many "duds" as far as I can tell, and this excellent 5-CD set is no exception. And while their classy playing might project a slightly more refined than dramatic Beethoven here, such a style is well suited to the classical-era style of these earlier works prior to 1805 and Beethoven's slow-but-sure departure from classical forms and mannerisms.

Part of this more 'classical Beethoven' found in most of the trios here is partly because of the genre. The piano trio genre was not the place Beethoven experimented or "went all out" - as he did in his symphonies, quartets and piano sonatas - but more a genre he wrote to sell music (although the empassioned C-minor trio of Opus 1 seems more written for Beethoven's own expression). In the late 1700's, the piano trio was a popular combination for the home music market for many a Vieneese amatuer. Also, it was common and in demand for composers and publishers to transpose popular orchestral works down to the piano trio (such as the two in this set) for this market of paying customers. What was also a trend then was including the themes of the latest "pop music" people were humming around town in theme & variation movements, which is seen here in some of the trios in this 5-CD set.
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74 of 80 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAME on November 10, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is a newly released [budget] set containing the Beaux Arts Trio's second traversal of all of Beethoven's piano trios, plus some interesting oddities such as the trio based on Beethoven's Second Symphony. I recently acquired this 5 CD collection and am quite impressed by the warm, vibrant playing from the Beaux Arts Trio: pianist Menachem Pressler, cellist Bernard Greenhouse and violinist Isidore Cohen. Although some critics contend that the Beaux Arts Trio's 1960's version is more riveting than their late 1970's/early 1980's version, I find the latter quite compelling on its own. The playing is absolutely first rate, replete with much warmth and empathy for Beethoven's scores. The sound quality is also fine, even if it doesn't feature Philips' latest digital image bit remastering.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Morton B. Fairtile on February 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The piano is not balanced with the violin and cello, it drowns them out. The violin at times is quite muted and the cello is often indistinct. Listen to the samples critically before buying. I found the same problem on another Philips set of Haydn Piano Trios.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By BLee on April 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Thibaud was amazingly colourful and this is evident from his trios here. Casals' tone here was even better than his Beethoven Sonatas. Those who grumble about "wrong notes" should take note how incisive and articulate Cortot could be. All of them are wonderful chamber musicians, plus greatest soloists. A perfect team which deserves much more attention than Heifetz/Feuermenn(Piatigorsky)/Rubinstein. The result, it's a full orchestra instead of a trio that we find from here: what else could we expect from this playing, or from such music?...
Yes, the recording is old but great music never grows outdated, the least of all thee playing of these soloists. They will remain a standard that will last for generations if not forever. Even the recording/transfer is well acceptable and the price is so nice. But as Cortot's fan, one might prefer their Schumann/ Mendelssohn of the same series from Naxos if we have to choose one.
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25 of 30 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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