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Cellist Raphael Wallfisch and violinist Sara Bitlloch join Donald Macleod to talk about Beethoven's early chamber music from 1795 to 1811.

This week cellist Raphael Wallfisch and violinist Sara Bitlloch join Donald Macleod to talk about Beethoven’s early chamber music from 1795 to 1811, including beloved works such as the ‘Razumovsky’ quartets, the ‘Kreutzer’ violin sonata, and the ‘Ghost’ and ‘Archduke’ piano trios.

Today they look at Beethoven’s emergence from the shadow of both Haydn and Mozart, and how the composer forged a distinctive new style of chamber music.

At the age of 16 Beethoven travelled from his native city of Bonn to Vienna to have lessons with Mozart. It didn’t happen because Beethoven’s mother became ill and he had to return home. He later did have lessons with Haydn, but subsequently said that he’d never learned anything from him!

Beethoven was a virtuoso pianist and, though he loathed performing in public, in the early years of his career in Vienna he relied on his instrumental skill to establish himself as a composer. His early compositions are dominated by piano music; his first big orchestral works are piano concertos not symphonies; and nearly all his early chamber music involves the piano.

String Trio No 3 in G major: Op 9, No 1 (3rd movement - excerpt; 4th movement)
Itzhak Perlman, violin
Pinchas Zukerman, viola
Lynn Harrell, cello

Cello Sonata in F major Op 5 No 1 (Allegro)
Gregor Piatigorsky, cello
Solomon, piano

Piano Trio in C minor Op 1 No 3 (4th movement)
Beaux Arts Trio

String quartet in F major Op 18 No 1 (2nd movement)
Takács Quartet

Violin Sonata in D major Op 12 No 1 (1st movement)
Alina Ibragimova, violin
Cédric Tiberghien, piano

Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales

18 days left to listen

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    String Trio in G major, Op 9 No 1 (3rd and 4th movements)

    Performer: Itzhak Perlman. Performer: Pinchas Zukerman. Performer: Lynn Harrell.
    • EMI CDS 7541982.
    • EMI.
    • 4.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Cello Sonata in F major, Op 5 No 1 (1b. Allegro)

    Performer: Gregor Piatigorsky. Performer: Solomon.
    • TESTAMENT : SBT-2158.
    • TESTAMENT.
    • 2.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Trio in C minor, Op 1 No 3 (4th movement)

    Ensemble: Beaux Arts Trio.
    • PHILIPS 4684112.
    • PHILIPS.
    • 13.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    String Quartet in F major, Op 18 No 1 (2nd movement)

    Ensemble: Takács Quartet.
    • Decca 470 848-2.
    • Decca.
    • 2.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Violin Sonata in D major, Op 12 No 1 (1st movement)

    Performer: Alina Ibragimova. Performer: Cédric Tiberghien.
    • WIGMORE HALL LIVE : WHLIVE-0036.
    • WIGMORE HALL LIVE.
    • 1.

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