In their Beethoven+ project Grieg Trio blend the works of the great master with voices from our own time, and the result is quite remarkable.
The three piano trios Beethoven published in Vienna in 1795 are perhaps the most striking opus 1 presented by any composer. Beethoven had studied the trios of Haydn in minute detail, and from the outset had made it his business to surpass them. The G major Trio is perhaps the most ‘Haydnesque’ of the set, with its good humour and playful use of convention. And although opus 1 was a striking success, it would take 14 years before Beethoven returned to the piano trio. Having then just finished the Pastoral symphony he started his opus 70. The D major trio is of course known as Ghost (Geister), the nickname often seen as reflecting the uncanny, spectral mood of the long central slow movement of the trio.
+ the only piano trio of Max’s
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (1934) is regarded as one of the foremost composers of our time, in 2004 appointed Master of the Queens’s Music. His list of works includes operas, ballets and eight symphonies among other things. In later years he has focused on chamber music, and his only piano trio “A Voyage to Fair Isle” is written for Grieg Trio. This is the premiere recording of the piece, and the trio also premiered it at a concert in Wigmore Hall in 2003.
Grieg Trio are Vebjørn Anvik (piano), Sølve Sigerland (violin) and Ellen Margrete Flesjø (cello). Beethoven+ is a unique project, instigated by one of the world’s foremost piano trios today. All of Beethoven’s piano trios are performed along side newly written works for the ensemble, both in concert and on CD. The season 2002-03 saw the series performed in Wigmore Hall and Konzerthaus Berlin in 2005. Since 2004 the Grieg Trio is Artistic Director of the Stavanger International Chamber Music Festival, and the same year they where awarded the Norwegian Grammy for the complete recording of the Dvorak trios.