Monday, April 11, 2011

4/11 Beethoven's "Pop Hit" Clarinet Trio ("Gassenhauer")

(This picture has absolutely nothing to do with Beethoven or this work besides the word "Gassenhauer".)
Beethoven's composition Opus 11 is a trio for either clarinet, piano and cello, or violin, piano and cello.  The subtitle "Gassenhauer" can be translated as either "street song" or "pop hit".  From what I gather, the 3rd movement is a series of variations on a theme from the popular song "Pria ch'io l'impegno", from Joseph Weigl's opera "L'amor Marinaro"(1797). In that regard it can be considered a "pop-hit" I suppose.  I kind of prefer the clarinet version over the violin one since the first movement has a kind of 'lilting' feel which suits the clarinet quite nicely... Also B. doesn't have any other clarinet trios...  This is a relatively early piece - but great fun as many of his early pieces are.  Nonetheless, careful listening reveals that B. is already beginning to push against the rules of sonata form...

From Allmusic:
"The most striking feature of the Allegro con brio first movement is the transition between the first and second themes. After a convincing modulation to the dominant, F major, what sounds like a second theme begins, but on D major. This quickly dissolves into fragments of the first theme and leads to the actual second theme, appearing first in the piano in F major. Beethoven forgoes the D major episode in the recapitulation. 

"Beethoven sets the central Adagio in E flat major. In sonata form with a brief development, the movement's recapitulation is highly decorated. 

"The finale is as much a vehicle for Beethoven's piano virtuosity as it is an example of his variation technique. The first variation is for piano alone and features detached runs and tremolo technique. The fourth variation, on the tonic minor, brings with it a moment of reflection before the piano, in another flamboyant outburst, abruptly changes the mood with a fortissimo entrance at the beginning of the fifth variation. The theme is most clearly perceptible in the sixth variation, while the aggressive seventh variation, again on the tonic minor, is built of rhythmic fragments of the theme in true Beethovenian fashion. Only the broad outline of the theme remains in the elegant eighth variation. The final variation again clearly articulates the theme before slipping momentarily into G major and 6/8 meter for a developmental coda that eventually moves back to the tonic and opening meter."

Clarinet Trio Op. 11 'Gassenhauer' (1798)
1. Allegro con brio
2. Adagio
3. Tema. 'Pria ch'io l'impregno'

Performed by the Oscine Trio:  "The Oscine Trio is an international ensemble of three young and talented artists recognized for their invigorating and energetic performances that have taken the classical music world by storm. Japanese clarinetist Maiko Sasaki, Israeli-American cellist Reenat Pinchas, & South African pianist Eugene Joubert."

Linklist (18 min)

More info on the Beethoven's "Pop Hit" Clarinet Trio HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment