L. v. Beethoven (1770-1827) Piano Trio in E flat, Op. 1, No. 1
G. Enescu (1881-1955) Violin Sonata No 3 in A minor, Op. 25
R. Schumann (1810-1856) Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 63
Philippe Graffin violin
David Waterman cello
Alasdair Beatson piano
Alasdair Beatson returns after his recital with Alexander Melnikov to play with myself and the remarkable, charismatic French violinist, Philippe Graffin, whose highly individual imagination, range of colours and rhythmic freedom are reminiscent of an earlier and much missed era of violin playing.
Beethoven’s op. 1, no. 1 has all the youthful spirit, warmth and good nature of its young composer and yet in its mastery and subtlety could be the work of a veteran. What a journey from this piece to the Hammerklavier and yet each are unmistakably imbued with Beethoven’s personality.
Enescu was a stupendous violinist, pianist, conductor, composer and teacher (Menuhin was a pupil). He was hugely influenced by gypsy playing and music from his native Romania. The Third Violin Sonata is one of his best-loved pieces, not least because of Enescu’s own exemplary recording with Dinu Lipatti on piano.
Schumann’s Trio is a dark turbulent intense work of genius. His special gift for confessional intimacy and poetry is at its height in this highly personal and revelatory slow movement. These qualities are perhaps one reason why he was, alone amongst the Austro-German composers, loved, admired and frequently performed by Fauré.