Beethoven by the Handel and Haydn Society

A group of musicians from the Handel and Haydn Society have recorded Beethoven’s fifth piano trio, released on WGBH’s Classical Performance podcast this month. 

Historically-informed performances are a favourite of mine, not from any sense of fealty to the composers’ wishes or intentions, but because I find them more exciting. Even the string instruments, whose construction has barely changed since this was written, are played differently, with a cooler, drier sound.

It works well here: the middle movement of the trio, probably originally intended for an opera of Macbeth, is eerily, coldly melancholic; beautiful without romance.

Listen here.

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