Beethoven Festival III: The Septet and Trios

Sunday, January 14, 2024, 3:00PM
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.

Between 1797 and 1800, the youthful Beethoven was taking Vienna by storm with his daring compositions and electrifying piano playing. He was also writing an astonishing amount for wind instruments, music that is highlighted on this program. First, a playful piece featuring clarinet with piano and cello; then, a trio that pushed three strings to their absolute limits. The centerpiece of the program is Beethoven’s Septet, a wildly popular work during his lifetime. Its distinctive instrumentation — violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, horn and bassoon — opened the door for future composers, such as Schubert, to write for unusual mixed ensembles.


Wu Han, piano
David Finckel, cello
Richard Lin, violin
Aaron Boyd, viola
Jonathan Swensen, cello
Timothy Cobb, double bass
Tommaso Lonquich, clarinet
Marc Goldberg, bassoon
David Byrd-Marrow, horn


Beethoven: Trio in B-flat major for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, Op. 11 (1797)
Beethoven: Trio in D major for Violin, Viola, and Cello, Op. 9, No. 2 (1797-98)
Beethoven:  Septet in E-flat major for Winds and Strings, Op. 20 (1800)