Tag Archives: Cortot

[72] Ludwig van Beethoven – Archduke Trio / Kreutzer Sonata

22 Aug

I press play, and immediately my senses are overwhelmed by such beautiful melodies, the seamless transitions between piano and strings trading those melodies back and forth.

Archduke Trio / Kreutzer Sonata

Archduke Trio / Kreutzer Sonata

It is like a private conversation, overheard in passing that the listener can’t help but eavesdrop on – you want to hear what each has to say, what interesting tidbit comes next, how the others will react.

Moon makes it clear that, impressive as the composition of these works undeniably are, it is the performance of the Trio that elevates this particular recording.  Three friends and virtuoso soloists – Thibault, Casals and Cortot – had been playing together for two decades when these takes were captured in London in the late 20s.

You can hear the chemistry, the affection between the performers, not to mention the long years of history and practice which brings an immediate familiarity to each tune.  Everything is so intricate – lines overlapping, tempos and moods constantly shifting – but the sound remains effortless.

Nothing is allowed to interfere with the pleasure of experiencing, or performing, the music.

It quickly occurs to me that the “Archduke” excites me at least as much as anything else I have discovered over the last 15 plus months.

It is unusual for me to be so moved by instrumental music – it is usually a lyric that makes my heart grow three sizes – but the Scherzo second section of the “Archduke” at times leaves me with a swell in my chest and a catch in my throat.

Here is another example of why I picked up Tom Moon’s book, why I started this blog in the first place.  Of course I have heard Beethoven’s work before, but I have only ever scratched the surface – the “Pastoral”, the “Fifth”, the pieces that are used at all times and in every place.  I needed an excuse to actively dig deeper for the quality I knew must be there, and this first of six choices does not disappoint.

Six for The Beatles and six for Beethoven. Seems appropriate for such giant names.

Next Week:  Ludwig van Beethoven – String Quartets, Opp. 131 & 135

Owned before blogging? No. (9 of 72 = 13%)
Heard before blogging? No. (11 of 72 = 15%)
Recommend? Yes. (58 of 72 = 81%)


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