Andreas Ottensamer (clarinet), Sol Gabetta (cello), and Dejan Lazić (piano) perform Ludwig van Beethoven's Trio in E flat major, Op.38. Recorded live at Hochrhein Musikfestival, Kurbrunnensaal, Rheinfelden, in Switzerland, on September 30, 2015.
It was in Beethoven's music that the clarinet and bassoon became such close musical partners, both in his orchestral works and in his chamber music, notably the septet, Op.20, and a set of three duos for clarinet and bassoon, WoO 27. The septet, written in 1799 and 1800, did much to launch Beethoven's career, and its popularity led publishers to release numerous arrangements for various ensembles. In 1803, Beethoven decided to create his own arrangement of the work for smaller forces, and the trio version was published as Op.38 in 1805. Following the instrumental line-up that he had used for the Op.11 trio in 1797, the combination of clarinet, cello and piano was an obvious choice for this new version. The re-voicing gives (for the most part) the septet's string parts to the piano, while much of the original clarinet part is preserved in the upper line of Op.38, and much of the trio's cello part is derived from the bassoon part of the septet, with the addition of occasional passages from the cello and horn parts. Given that making some extra money was very probably a significant incentive in creating this arrangement, Beethoven clearly felt that this was the combination (published with two versions of the upper part, for either clarinet or violin) that was going to sell the most copies. Then, as now, there were far fewer bassoonists around than cellists, and in offering the choice between clarinet and violin in this trio version, Beethoven was clearly not being too fussy about precise instrumentation! However, there is a strong case for performing this version with bassoon rather than cello, as it restores that very special link between the clarinet and bassoon which is such a special feature of the original septet. The original Op.20 bassoon passages sound very much "at home" on the instrument for which they were written, and the horn solos from the septet are also highly effective on the bassoon in Beethoven’s trio arrangement.
This version of the work maintains the fresh, innovative character of the original septet. By transcribing the string parts with Beethoven's characteristic pianistic style, it sounds totally convincing, as if it had been originally conceived in this form. From the spacious elegance of the adagio introduction to the first movement, leading into the energy, expression and momentum of the allegro con brio, we are on a very similar musical journey to the septet itself. The slow movement, adagio cantabile, remains as a wonderfully melodic vehicle for the clarinet's lyrical qualities, while the minuet and trio is every bit as characterful, the bassoon adding its own brand of wit in the cheeky horn passages of the trio section. The theme and variations is particularly effective with lots of imaginative interplay between the three instruments, and the scherzo retains all the energy and excitement of the original version. The dark introduction to the final movement leads into the vibrant, energetic presto with the famous violin cadenza faithfully reproduced on the piano.
Source: Laurence Perkins, 2018 (hyperion-records.co.uk)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
♪ Trio in E flat major, Op.38 (1803)*
i. Adagio – Allegro con brio [00:11]**
ii. Adagio cantabile [10:18]
iii. Tempo di Menuetto [19:32]
iv. Theme con Variazioni. Andante [22:52]
v. Scherzo. Allegro molto e vivace – Trio [30:18]
vi. Andante con molto, alla marcia – Presto [33:32]
Andreas Ottensamer, clarinet
Sol Gabetta, cello
Dejan Lazić, piano
Hochrhein Musikfestival, Kurbrunnensaal, Rheinfelden, Switzerland, September 30, 2015
* Arrangement for piano, clarinet or violin and cello or bassoon of the Op.20 Septet of 1799/1800
** Start time of each movement
Born in 1989 in Vienna, Andreas Ottensamer comes from an Austro-Hungarian family of musicians and was drawn to music early, receiving his first piano lessons when he was four. At the age of ten he began studying the cello at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, then changed to the clarinet under Johann Hindlerin in 2003.
Andreas Ottensamer gained his first orchestral experience as a deputy in the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic and as a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. In 2009 he interrupted his Harvard studies to become a scholar of the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. He is now the principal clarinettist of the Berlin Philharmonic.
Ottensamer has won first prize in competitions for clarinet, cello and piano, and performs as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the world with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under Sir Simon Rattle, Yannick Nezét-Séguin, Andris Nelsons, Pablo Heras-Casado and Alan Gilbert. His artistic partnerships as chamber musician include work with Murray Perahia, Leif Ove Andsnes, Leonidas Kavakos, Janine Jansen, Sol Gabetta and Yo-Yo Ma, and together with pianist José Gallardo he is artistic director of the Bürgenstock Festival in Switzerland.
In February 2013 Andreas Ottensamer entered an exclusive recording partnership with Deutsche Grammophon, making him the first ever solo clarinettist to sign an exclusive agreement with the Yellow Label. His second album "Brahms - The Hungarian Connection" won the Echo Klassik Award for Instrumentalist of the Year 2015.
In February 2017 his new album "New Era" was be released by Decca Classics. In 2005 Andreas Ottensamer founded the clarinet trio The Clarinotts with his father Ernst and brother Daniel, both principal clarinettists of the Vienna Philharmonic. A CD of the trio was released in 2016 by Deutsche Grammophon.
A highlight of this season will be the Europakonzert of the Berlin Philharmonic, in which Andreas Ottensamer will perform Carl Maria von Weber's Clarinet Concerto No.1 under Mariss Jansons.
Born in 1981 in Villa María, Sol Gabetta is an Argentine cellist. The daughter of Andrés Gabetta and Irène Timacheff-Gabetta, she has French and Russian ancestry. Her brother Andrés is also a musician, a baroque violinist.
Gabetta began to learn violin at the age of three, and cello at age four. She continued to study both instruments until age eight, and then switched her focus exclusively to the cello. She won her first competition at the age of 10, soon followed by the Natalia Gutman Award. Her teachers include Christine Waleska, Leo Viola, Ivan Monighetti, Piero Farulli and Ljerko Spiller.
Gabetta won the Crédit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2004. In 2006, she founded her own festival, the Festival Solsberg. Her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle was at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival in 2014. Her debut with the Staatskapelle Berlin occurred in December 2014. She was Artist in Residence at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in summer 2014, and also held artistic residencies at the Philharmonie and Konzerthaus Berlin. She was awarded the Herbert von Karajan Prize at the Salzburg Easter Festival in 2018.
Other prizes have included the Gramophone Award for Young Artist of the Year in 2010 and the Würth-Preis of the Jeunesses Musicales in 2012. At the Echo Klassik Awards, she received the award in 2007, 2009 and 2013, being named Instrumentalist of the Year in 2013. She received the Diapason d'Or for her recordings of Haydn, Mozart and Elgar cello concertos, as well as works by Tchaikovsky and Ginastera. Gabetta has made commercial recordings for Sony and Deutsche Grammophon.
Contemporary composers who have written music for Gabetta include Michel van der Aa, who composed Up-close for Gabetta and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, and Pēteris Vasks, who wrote his cello concerto "Presence" for Gabetta. In November 2015, Gabetta's album of the music of Vasks, Presence, was released, which includes the cello concerto "Presence", and "Musique du Soir" for organ and cello, for which daughter and mother perform together.
Supported by a private stipend from the Rahn Kulturfonds, Gabetta performs on a cello by G. B. Guadagnini dating from 1759. She resides in Switzerland and has been teaching cello at the Basel Music Academy since 2005. She is also a regular presenter for the programme KlickKlack, for Bavarian Radio (BR-Klassik).
Born in 1977 in Zagreb, Dejan Lazić is a Croatian pianist and composer, and a naturalised Austrian citizen. He has appeared with such orchestras as the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony, Bamberger Symphoniker, Swedish Radio, Danish National, Helsinki Philharmonic, Australian Chamber Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra, working with such conductors as Iván Fischer, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Giovanni Antonini, Kirill Petrenko, Robert Spano and John Storgårds.
Lazić made his BBC Proms debut in summer 2011, performing two concerts; once with BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, to give the UK premiere of his own arrangement of the Brahms Violin Concerto for piano and orchestra and again to perform Liszt with Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer. Further performances with BFO/Fischer in the current season include dates in Budapest and on tour in Gent, Milan and at the Beethovenfest Bonn. He appears also with the Kammerorchester Basel, performing at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Hamburger Philharmoniker at Hamburger Ostertöne festival, Trondheim Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic and, further afield, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, plus Pacific and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras.
Lazić appeared in the Far East with orchestras such as NHK Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra (including concerts at Tokyo's Suntory Hall and Metropolitan Art Space), Sapporo Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, as well as a series of recitals throughout Japan and at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, China. In summer 2008 he performed Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto at the Beijing Great Hall of People in a televised pre-Olympics gala concert for an audience of 7,000.
Alongside his solo career, Lazić is also a chamber musician. Recently Artist in Residence with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, he has given recitals at Amsterdam Concertgebouw, London Queen Elizabeth Hall, Munich Prinzregententheater, Washington Kennedy Center, plus in Montreal, Tokyo, Beijing and Istanbul.
He records for Channel Classics and has released a dozen recordings so far, including works by Scarlatti/Bartók and Schumann/Brahms, all as part of his Liaisons series; the next in the series will couple together CPE Bach/Britten. His live recording of Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 with London Philharmonic Orchestra and Kirill Petrenko received the German Echo Klassik Award 2009. His latest release is a disc featuring Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto, recorded live with the Australian Chamber Orchestra led by Richard Tognetti.
Lazić is also active as a composer. His works include various piano compositions, chamber music and orchestral works, as well as cadenzas for Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven piano concertos. His arrangement of Brahms's Violin Concerto for piano and orchestra was premiered with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Robert Spano in 2009 and further performances this season, in addition to BBC Proms, will include at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and in Japan. A live recording of the concerto was released in January 2010. Currently he is working on his own Piano Concerto.
Born into a musical family in Zagreb, Croatia, Lazić grew up in Salzburg, Austria, where he studied at the Mozarteum. He now lives in Amsterdam.
Johannes Brahms: Clarinet Trio in A minor – Andreas Ottensamer, Sol Gabetta, Dejan Lazić (HD 1080p)