Beaux Arts Trio ... Jesse Auditorium, Saturday, February 23, 1985
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"Among the categories of instrumental music to attract the interest of leading composers after the middle years of the eighteenth century was the piano trio, a composition for the newly prominent pianoforte and two other instruments. At that time the piano had begun its historic rise to popularity. Within decades it would take its place as the favorite instrument of amateurs and would become one of the status symbols of the music-loving bourgeoisie. Rallying to the needs of such a public, composers and publishers sought to produce a repertory of music suitable for dilettantes. The piano trio was central to this effort. Not only were original works turned out, but other well-known compositions, including symphonies, were arranged in this format. The capabilities of the amateur pianist were typically overriding considerations in its construction, and the piano part dominated the texture. Like its contemporary "cousins"--the sonata, the symphony, the string quartet, and the concerto--the piano trio also became a vehicle for the radically new approach to composition codified in the sonata cycle. Because of its intended consumers, however, the piano trio was often less intellectual and less demanding. In the hands of master composers, nonetheless, the music for piano trio exhibits all the virtues of the late eighteenth-century style: elegance, tunefulness, and the ingenious treatment of abstract musical ideas. The genre is another example of music as rational entertainment at its best."
Table of Contents
Trio in E Flat Major, H. XV/10 -- Norrutno in E Flat Major, Op. 148, D. 897 -- Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1 -- Intermission -- Trio No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 66