Beethoven Festival II: Haydn and Beethoven Piano Trios

Wednesday, January 10, 2024, 7:30PM
No charge for Four Arts members

Performed by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

In three performances, a select roster of the world’s finest chamber musicians explores Vienna during one of history’s most exciting and consequential eras. In just a decade overlapping the 18th and 19th centuries, Ludwig van Beethoven seized the helm of the ship once commanded by his predecessors Haydn and Mozart and became the world’s most famous composer. With works of unimagined daring, energy, and beauty, Beethoven transformed the art of music and elevated the image of the composer to heroic, vaulted status.

Haydn is well known for his 104 symphonies and 68 string quartets, but his piano trios supply equal delight for listeners and inspiring challenges for performers. In this second program of the festival, we hear the direct effect of Haydn’s genius on Beethoven, as three familiar and formidable Chamber Music Society musicians weave together seminal trios by both composers. We will hear the evolution of this genre, from the classically-oriented trios of Haydn, to one of Beethoven’s bombastic Op. 1 Trios, to the famed “Ghost” Trio, whose eerie and characterful slow movement was reportedly inspired by the witches’ scene from Macbeth.


Wu Han, piano
David Finckel, cello
Arnaud Sussmann, violin/viola


Haydn          Trio in A major for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Hob. XV:18 (1794)
Beethoven   Trio in C minor for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 1, No. 3 (1794-95)
Haydn          Trio in E major for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Hob. XV:28 (1797)
Beethoven   Trio in D major for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 70, No. 1, “Ghost” (1808)