Beethoven For Two, Three or Four

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

With WQXR's live string quartet marathon coming up this Sunday, today’s Showdown pitted examples of Beethoven’s chamber music. We asked if you prefer Beethoven performed by two, three or four and which of these gems of the chamber music repertoire you wanted to hear.

At noon, we played Beethoven's Piano Trio No. 7 in B-Flat Major, Op. 97 "Archduke" performed by Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman and Jacqueline du Pre.


Comments [12]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Your playing of the recording of Beethoven's Archduke trio with pianist conductor Daniel Barenboim, violinist Pinchas Zukerman and the late, most accomplished cellist Jacqueline du Pre was a major treat, an audio feast ! ART, pictorial, is akin to the aural manifestations. Composers have always been painting in sound, sensing a visual companion to their creations. We, I am an opera composer, often identify the pitches and harmonies with colors. Painters and sculptors often have had music played in the background, live musicians in the days before recordings, to inspire their efforts. This was particularly true of the Romantic era of which Beethoven was creating masterpieces with colleagues such as Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Wolf, von Weber, and Wagner. Beethoven's symphonies, opera, concertos, sonatas, string quartets, overtures, chamber music generally ,and song literature, is so pervasive and his world consciousness and basic humanity construct an icon unparalleled to and past his own era. At Juilliard, I studied his oeuvre and , in those days, all singers learned the concert rep of Beethoven , Schubert , Schumann, Wolf and Grieg, whether they would be opera singers or concert singers . So much of our treasured masterpieces, vocal and instrumental, are unknown quantities to most Americans. THANK YOU WQXR FOR CELEBRATING BEETHOVEN !!! Beethoven's symphonies are the ABCs of most essential single composers' oeuvre of the symphonic literature. Who ever having heard the Waldstein well performed can ever forget its beauty and nuanced scope of emotions. Wagner and his contemporaries and their successors all recognized the epic achievement of Beethoven. I am a romantischer Wagnerian heldentenor and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute at 418A Main Street, Boonton, NJ . I have sung four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. As part of my Ten Language Solo Debut concert at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, I sang the Gott ! welch dunkel hier ! aria of Fidelio. it can be heard from the live performance on my three websites, one of which is It received rave critical notices in newspapers and magazines. Great interpreters of Beethoven's piano concertos and sonatas, Artur Rubinstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Walter Gieseking, ignace Paderevsky, Benno Moisevitch, Daniel Barenboim, Claudio Arrau, Kissin, Bronfman, Ashkenazy, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Lang Lang and Simon Barere, remarkable for their virtuosity, and immense ability to interpret from their own perspective. Among the greatest singers famous for their Beethoven performances in opera and concert my voice teachers Alexander Kipnis, Friedrich Schorr, Martial Singher, John Brownlee, and Margarete Matzenauer. Other famous singers with extensive Beethoven "rep" were Kirsten Flagstad, Helge Roswaenge, Heinrich Schlusnus, Ludwig Hoffmann, Josef Greindl, Jon Vickers, and Ludwig Weber.

Nov. 15 2012 01:07 AM
NYMike from Manhattan

Because the Archduke Trio is arguably the most advanced of the three wonderful choices, it's what I would like to hear.

Nov. 14 2012 11:53 AM
oliver david from Ossining NY

Not quite as difficult as Sophe's choice but not at all easy.Had I not owned this recording of the Arch Duke I would have not voted.

Nov. 14 2012 11:50 AM
Andrea Becker from Manhattan

This is an embarassment of riches and a devil of a choice. All the artists are paragons. However, I'm voting for Anne-Sophie and Lambert in tribute to the wonderful year she gave us as artist-in-residence with the NYPh. She is a joy.

Nov. 14 2012 11:45 AM
David R. Stayer from Merrick, New York

I love Beethoven but his Arcch Duke Trio is among my favorites. I am totally blind and music touches my soul.

Nov. 14 2012 11:11 AM
Marge from NJ

Three PLEASE !! Anything with Ms. DuPre is music to my ears. And Beethoven besides???? Cannot go wrong there!

Nov. 14 2012 10:49 AM
Ralph Gifford from NJ

I already watched and listened to the YouTube of Anne Sophie Mutter playing the "Spring" Sonata, so I'm going with the ArchDuke too. Anne Sophie Mutter plays the "Spring" wonderfully well so definitely go and listen and watch.

Nov. 14 2012 10:25 AM
Rich Putter from South Williamsburg, Brooklyn

No question the "Spring" Sonata is LvB at his sunniest and the "Archduke" Trio at his noblest. But the Opus 18/5 Quartet is Beethoven at his most lighthearted and shows a rarer side of his musical personality. It is also the least often played of the three works, and for that alone, is worthy of a hearing.

Nov. 14 2012 10:24 AM
Karen Langro

I love Beethoven! His music is just so wonderfull, powerfull, passionate! I wanted to vote for them all. I choose his violin sonata, Spring. It's so lively and lifts the sprits even more, it gets the toes to tapping!

Nov. 14 2012 10:12 AM
Leslie from Belfast, Maine

I really love the quartets, but I agree with Counce from CT, how can we pass up that TRIO?
I shall be listening on my computer.

Nov. 14 2012 09:10 AM
Counce from CT

How can we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to hear Barenboim,Zukerman and du Pre?

Nov. 14 2012 08:10 AM
Tim from Washington, DC

I always liked a piano in the mix for chamber music, so vote for the Archduke today. Thanks for another great contest.

Nov. 14 2012 07:11 AM

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