BEETHOVEN Piano Trios Nos 6 & 7

Author: 
Nalen Anthoni
HMC90 2125. BEETHOVEN Piano Trios Nos 6 & 7

BEETHOVEN Piano Trios Nos 6 & 7

  • Piano Trios, No. 6 in E flat, Op. 70/2
  • Piano Trios, No. 7 in B flat, Op. 97, 'Archduke'

Nannette Streicher’s new piano was a six-octave godsend for Beethoven. And the next year, 1808, he ran the full gamut – from the F three octaves below middle C to the one three octaves above it – in Op 70 No 2. The lowest note first appears at 1'10", three bars before the end of the introductory Poco sostenuto, but Alexander Melnikov doesn’t make much of it. Left-hand reticence? Or is he a touch backwardly placed? Either way, his bass-line doesn’t always speak clearly, but comes into its own in the C minor variations of the second movement and an authoritative finale. Otherwise his leadership varies. Often he leaves Isabelle Faust and Jean Guihen Queyras to compensate in conceptually a large-scale interpretation. Of course, changes in levels and instrumental balance even within movements don’t help.

Concept comes closer to reality in Op 97, though a piano that regularly shifts position between centre and right is an added distraction. Yet Melnikov is in greater command both of harmonic undertow and his role in the partnership. Tempi are swifter than expected in the first three movements but only in the third, Andante cantabile ma però con moto, is a shortfall in profundity really felt. If the inexplicable – and damaging – decision to omit the long repeat in the Scherzo is a lapse, the finale offers a high point in its ideally judged Allegro moderato, the coda a fierily charged Presto. In sum, a curate’s egg.

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2018