Beethoven- C Major Trio Op 87

Posted on July 18th, 2011 by

Beethoven- C Major Trio Op 87

Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Hilaryjane Parker-Violins, Bridget Carey-Viola

Live Performance-St Johns Smith Square, January 2002

In 1793, Beethoven was invited to write a trio for the three brothers Johann, Franz and Philipp Teimer. This was not a string trio but a novelty act, giving performances of especially written works for two oboes and cor anglais. Two years later he wrote them another piece a set of variations on ‘La ci darem la mano (WoO28), from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. In April 1806 the first edition appeared, published by Artaria. However, three years earlier, the publishers, with a weather eye to sales, had released a version for 2 violins and viola. However, a glance at the manuscript, which is to be found in Berlin today, reveals something of Beethoven’s compositional methods, and the way that he worked with the group of musicans that he gathered around him. The manuscript consists of four lines-two treble-clef lines-the oboe parts. But remember, anything that can be played on the oboe can be played on the violin. The third stave is not a cor anglais part (which is notated in the treble clef, transposed), but is in the alto clef-a viola part. Beethoven had orginally notated the piece (and no doubt tried it out) for string trio, and then rewritten the lower line. This process would later be repeated in the two versions of the Op 16 Piano Quintet/Quartet.