Beethoven Days Chamber Concert No 1

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BEETHOVEN: Piano Trio in D major (‘Ghost’), Op. 70/1
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in F major, Op. 135
--- intermission ---
BEETHOVEN: Piano Trio in E-flat major, Op. 70/2

Featuring: AndrásKeller violin, MiklósPerényi cello, JánosBalázs piano

Hungarian Quartet

Intimate, suggestive, familiar – these words effectively join together the individual works of this matinee concert, and indeed they really are the most personal confessions of Beethoven. The two piano trios that begin and end the concert were written during the months the composer spent as a guest of Anna Mária Erdődy, and they are both dedicated to the countess for her hospitality. The Piano Trio in D major was dubbed ‘Ghost’ after an observation by the composer’s student, Carl Czerny, who said the slow movement reminded him of the opening scene of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The String Quartet in F major inserted between the two trios is Beethoven’s last completed major work. Music historians were long puzzled by the inscription to the fourth movement – The difficult decision – and on the first  score written for vocal part and not intended for performance – Must it be? It must be! They believed that Beethoven had a premonition of his death, yet the explanation was far more banal than this: he was quoting the words of an amateur cellist who did not want to pay for a concert ticket, and an earlier witty canon written to these words. The piano part of the trios is taken by János Balázs, one of the  most sought-after pianists applauded for his emotionally rich technique. He is joined by two peers: András Keller and Miklós Perényi, while the string quartet is performed by Hungarian Quartet who debuted (with great success) early in the year.