Haydn’s originality is particularly evident in such pieces as these trios, conceived primarily for musical friends to play together. The sheer distinctiveness and the accomplishment of his writing is readily and inescapably apparent in this music. The outstanding Grieg Trio reflect every nuance in their spirited performances.
For superior performers
While all three trios written in Vienna 1796/97 are for a superior performer, from the pianist’s point of view, the C major is the most demanding of them. But also the E flat major is a substantial and imaginative work in which the piano, in particular, is given material that is almost virtuosic in its scope. F sharp minor was an infrequently employed key in the 18th-century: Haydn notably used it for just one of his more than 100 symphonies, No. 45, known as the ‘Farewell’ (1772). His Piano Trio Hob XV: 26 once again partakes of the storm and stress associated with the key itself, all though on a more domestic scale.
The Trio in G major is the best known trio on this recording, mainly on account of its finale, a Rondo all’ Ongarese, generally known as the Gypsy Rondo – a title that is sometimes used for the trio as a whole. Haydn effectively begins with a slow movement – a gentle Andante which, though not so labelled, is a set of variations on a fresh and airy theme, initially displayed on the piano and violin together. The finale undoubtedly deserves its considerable popularity with genuine folk-like material that can be discovered amongst the verbunkos or Hungarian recruiting songs found in collections of the period.
Grieg Trio was founded in 1987 by Vebjørn Anvik (piano), Sølve Sigerland (violin) and Ellen Margrete Flesjø (cello). The trio has achieved widespread international recognition, with performances in most European countries, the United States, Japan and New Zealand, in major venues such as Chatelet, Concertgebouw, Schauspielhaus, Salle Verdi and Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. They have been engaged by Wigmore Hall and Berlin Konzerthaus for their series “Beethoven +”, consisting of Beethoven’s Piano Trios combined with new commissions from contemporary composers. Grieg Trio has recorded works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Schumann, Brahms, Dvorak, Smetana, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Martin and Bloch for Simax Classics, EMI and Virgin to great critical acclaim.