String Trio in C minor Op.9/3

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven (b. 1770 - d. 1827)
Share :


Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven (b. 1770 - d. 1827)

Performance date: 05/07/2009

Venue: Bantry Library

Composition Year: 1797/8

Duration: 00:22:41

Recording Engineer: Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation: vn, va, vc

Instrumentation Category:Trio

Artists: Siún Milne - [violin]
Triona Milne - [viola]
Paul Grennan - [cello]

String Trio in C minor Op.9/3

winter of 1797/8 saw Beethoven complete the three Op.9 string trios,
the three Op.10 piano sonatas, the Clarinet Sonata Op.11 and the
three violin sonatas Op.12. All these works were commissioned, which
gives some idea of the demand for his music and his ability to meet
that demand. He was already in a position where he could cover his
living expenses from his commissions alone. On top of this he would
have been paid performance fees for his concerts and he already had a
number of students, so he was comparatively well-off for a young
freelance composer. The catastrophe with his hearing had not yet
seriously affected him.

key of C minor was always special for Beethoven, generating a potent
force irrespective of mood. In the opening Allegro the tension is
high from the opening bar, with a supple control of rhythms and
paragraphs that build into a powerful whole. The sheer sound is
astonishingly rich and trenchant and everything is magnificently
timed. We get from this music a sense of energy and power rather than
the tragedy that convention leads us to expect from Beethoven’s C

Adagio is another powerful movement, contrasting vehemence and calm
in the manner we already expect from the astonishingly mature young
composer. In the abrupt and wayward Scherzo Beethoven’s eccentric
sense of humour creeps in, especially in the use of fierce
syncopation. Once again we are startled by the weight of sound that
Beethoven can get from such a sparse medium. This is partly offset by
the grace of the C major Trio. The equally unpredictable Finale is
not a rondo but a fully formed sonata design with extraordinary
vitality and fantasy. It was movements like this that gave
Beethoven’s C minor works such a formidable reputation. At the end
the major key is established, but pianissimo and tongue-in-cheek.