Haydn: Great Piano Trios
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Joseph Haydn

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Nationality: Austrian
Born: March 31, 1732, Rohrau, Austria Died: May 31, 1809, Vienna (age 77)

Piano Trio No. 45 in E-flat major, Op. 86, No. 3, Hob. XV:29

(for violin, cello and piano)
7:33 I. Poco allegretto
3:26 II. Andantino ed innocentemente
5:38 III. Finale. Allemande. Presto assai
Duration: 16 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1795-1797 (age 62-65)
Published: 1797 (age 64-65)
Note: One of three "Bartolozzi Trios"
7 recordings, 19 videos
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7:23
Beaux Arts Trio
I. Poco allegretto
3:58
Beaux Arts Trio
II. Andantino ed innocentemente
5:30
Beaux Arts Trio
III. Finale. Allemande. Presto assai
7:42
Trio Viennarte
I. Poco allegretto
3:01
Trio Viennarte
II. Andantino ed innocentemente
5:47
Trio Viennarte
III. Finale. Allemande. Presto assai
7:27
Mendelssohn Piano Trio
I. Poco allegretto
3:29
Mendelssohn Piano Trio
II. Andantino ed innocentemente
5:41
Mendelssohn Piano Trio
III. Finale. Allemande. Presto assai
7:33
Van Swieten Trio
I. Poco allegretto
3:00
Van Swieten Trio
II. Andantino ed innocentemente
5:43
Van Swieten Trio
III. Finale. Allemande. Presto assai
15:46
Trio Wanderer
7:40
Opus 8 Trio
I. Poco allegretto
3:30
Opus 8 Trio
II. Andantino ed innocentemente
5:27
Opus 8 Trio
III. Finale. Allemande. Presto assai
7:03
Haydn Trio Eisenstadt
I. Poco allegretto
3:58
Haydn Trio Eisenstadt
II. Andantino ed innocentemente
5:15
Haydn Trio Eisenstadt
III. Finale. Allemande. Presto assai
From Kai Christiansen

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Trio in E-flat Major, Hob. XV:29 (c. 1795-1797)

Joseph Haydn Haydn is well known for his monumental achievements with the symphony and the string quartet; he produced a combined total of works in both genres numbering around one hundred and forty-two. But Haydn was prodigious in at least two other genres at the heart of the classical tradition: the keyboard sonata and the keyboard trio, both transitioning from the harpsichord to the piano during the course of his career. Haydn composed something like fifty keyboard sonatas and another forty or so keyboard trios of which over thirty have been authenticated. The final ten "late" trios were written between 1794 and 1797 specifically for the piano rather than the harpsichord. They are known as the "London Trios" since Haydn wrote them primarily during his second, marvelously successful trip to England following his retirement from service to the Hungarian Esterházys. Every one of the final trios is considered a masterpiece and a founding example in yet another nascent genre in which Haydn exercised his supreme gift for sonata forms. Pianist and brilliant scholar Charles Rosen had this to say: "Haydn's imagination is particularly luxuriant in these trios. Unconstrained by considerations of public effect, as in the symphonies or by impressive refinements of style as in the quartets, Haydn wrote them for the sheer pleasure of the solo instrumentalists."

Haydn's Trio in E-Flat, was published in 1797, one in a set of three dedicated to Theresa Bartolozzi (née Jansen), a London friend and an accomplished pianist. Scholars believe that it was likely composed around 1795, several years after Mozart's final piano trio and around the same time that a young Beethoven was finishing his own first set of piano trios.

The trio begins with an introductory chord like a call to attention, and then a four-note motif that saturates the entire movement. Much of the musical narrative involves presence or absence of this motif as well as its numerous permutations, each with a different character. Simple, tuneful and sweet, the slow movement bears the rare and revealing character marking “innocentemente.” Despite its apparent “innocence”, the music features some soul-searching as it seems to reach for more lofty utterances including some surprising modulations. This brief interlude stops mid-sentence and hangs briefly in silence until the finale bursts upon the scene answering the ponderous with a party! A swift, whirling 3-count German dance concludes the trio with high spirits. It is in sonata form, which is just to say that you will hear the dance twice followed by a period of disruption and searching (the so-called “development”) whose somewhat tense, unresolved fragmentation prepares for a super-satisfying return of the dance significantly extended and enhanced for a brilliant finish.

© Kai Christiansen Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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