Performance Tuesday, April 14, 2015 | 8 PM

The Mutter-Bronfman-Harrell Trio

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Beethoven’s “Archduke” Trio was named for his patron Rudolf of Austria. The large-scale and seamless integration of the three instruments was unprecedented and set the tone for the great trios of Schubert, Brahms, Dvořák, and others. Tchaikovsky’s Trio in A Minor was dedicated to his mentor Nikolai Rubinstein, the founder of the Moscow Conservatory. With its opening “Pezzo elegiaco” (“Elegiac Piece”) and brilliant set of variations on a folk theme, Tchaikovsky’s Trio is an impassioned masterpiece.


  • The Mutter-Bronfman-Harrell Trio
    ·· Anne-Sophie Mutter, Violin
    ·· Yefim Bronfman, Piano
    ·· Lynn Harrell, Cello


  • BEETHOVEN Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97, "Archduke"
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Trio in A Minor


Beethoven's Piano Trio in B-flat Major (Allegro moderato)
Arthur Rubenstein, Piano | Jascha Heifetz, Violin | Emanuel Feuermann, Cello
BMG Entertainment

At a Glance

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97, “Archduke”

Dedicated to Beethoven’s patron and pupil Archduke Rudolf, second in line to the Austro-Hungarian throne, the “Archduke” Trio is the last and most overtly symphonic of the composer’s seven canonic piano trios (excluding variations, arrangements, and juvenilia). Along with such expansive and formally innovative works as the “Emperor” Piano Concerto, the “Hammerklavier” Piano Sonata, and the Violin Sonata No. 10 in G Major—all dedicated to Rudolf—it exemplifies the “heroic” style of Beethoven’s so-called middle period. In one of his last public appearances as a pianist, the nearly deaf composer joined violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh and cellist Josef Linke at the trio’s premiere in Vienna on April 11, 1814.

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY  Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50

Despite his proven ability to write effectively for both piano and string instruments, Tchaikovsky had misgivings about combining them in a chamber ensemble. “The warm and singing tone of the violin and the cello sounds limited beside that king of instruments, the pianoforte; while the latter strives in vain to prove that it can sing like its rivals,” he observed. “There is always something artificial about a pianoforte trio, each of the three instruments being continually called upon to express what the composer imposes on it, rather than what lies within its characteristic utterance.” Fortunately, Tchaikovsky set his reservations aside in composing the A-Minor Piano Trio as a memorial for pianist Nikolai Rubinstein. All three instruments preserve their distinctive personalities, while blending their voices in a passionately lyrical utterance.


Anne-Sophie Mutter Introduces Her 2014-2015 Perspectives Series

Perspectives: Anne-Sophie Mutter
Sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP

Part of