Performance Tuesday, March 13, 2012 | 7:30 PM

Morgenstern Trio

Weill Recital Hall
One of the most exciting new chamber groups from Europe, the Morgenstern Trio is blowing audiences away with its magnetic virtuosity, sparkling energy, and organic unity. For its Carnegie Hall debut, the German piano trio carves out masterfully crafted works by Mozart, Ravel, and Brahms. After the performance, come have a free drink and meet the musicians at our Salon Encores.


  • Morgenstern Trio
    ·· Catherine Klipfel, Piano
    ·· Stefan Hempel, Violin
    ·· Emanuel Wehse, Cello


  • MOZART Piano Trio in B-flat Major, K. 502
  • RAVEL Piano Trio in A Minor
  • BRAHMS Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8

  • Encore:
  • BEETHOVEN Allegro vivace e con brio from Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1, "Ghost"


  • Morgenstern Trio

    Catherine Klipfel, Piano
    Stefan Hempel, Violin
    Emanuel Wehse, Cello


    To name a piano trio after the popular 19th-century German poet Christian Morgenstern was the inspiration of pianist Catherine Klipfel, violinist Stefan Hempel, and cellist Emanuel Wehse, who met during their studies at the Folkwang Conservatory in Essen, Germany.

    After only two short years of working together, the Morgenstern Trio emerged on the German music scene with many top prizes and awards. In January 2010, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio Award selected the Morgenstern Trio for the most prestigious piano trio prize in the US, which comes with 20 major debuts. In 2007, the trio won first prize at the International Joseph Haydn Competition in Vienna, followed by second prizes at the Fifth Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and the prestigious ARD Competition in Munich, where it also received the audience prize. The previous year, the trio won the competitive scholarship of the German Music Competition, and most recently was named ensemble-in-residence at the trio's alma mater, the Folkwang Conservatory. Germany's national program for young musicians and the Best of NRW Concert Series have provided the Morgenstern Trio with many performance opportunities, including numerous concerts across Germany and live radio appearances to showcase its consummate musicianship. The trio has performed at such prestigious festivals as the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades (France), the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Heidelberger Frühling, the WDR Musikfest, and the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland. The trio's debut CD-a live recording released in 2008 that features works by Beethoven and Brahms-has received critical acclaim.

    For the 2009 and 2010 seasons, the Morgenstern Trio was selected by ECHO (the European Concert Hall Organization) for its Rising Stars Series, and made its debut on important European stages in Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Cologne, Brussels, Birmingham, and Stockholm, among other cities. The renowned Alban Berg and Menahem Pressler quartets have given the Morgenstern Trio invaluable coaching and musical insight.

    More Info


Ravel Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in A minor (Final: Animé)
Joshua Bell, Violin; Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano; Steven Isserlis, Cello 

At a Glance

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  Piano Trio in B-flat Major, K. 502

The third of Mozart’s six trios for piano, violin, and cello (not counting an earlier divertimento for the same combination), the B-flat–Major Trio belongs to the fruitful period of the mid-1780s that produced such masterpieces as Le nozze di Figaro, the six “Haydn” Quartets, and the “Jupiter”Symphony. Although it was billed as a piano sonata with string accompaniment, the three instruments are in fact fully equal partners.

MAURICE RAVEL  Piano Trio in A Minor

Composed on the eve of World War I, Ravel’s only piano trio projects a mood of wistful elegy that is accentuated by the frenzied acrobatics of its fast movements. By the time the first performance took place at the Salle Gaveau in Paris on January 28, 1915, the composer was at work on two pieces even more strongly indebted to the past, the neo-Baroque piano suite Le tombeau de Couperin and the Renaissance-inspired Trois chansons for chorus.

JOHANNES BRAHMS  Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8

Brahms was never happy with his early B-Major Trio and jumped at the chance to revise and tighten the score more than three decades later. It was to this streamlined version of Op. 8 that critic Max Graf referred when he wrote: “In the great climaxes of the composition ran the undertone of subterranean rumbling like the echo of a remote earthquake which served to remind listeners that beneath the heavy boulders of classical form, the romanticism of Brahms’s youth was buried.”

Program Notes
Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award (KLRITA).
The Distinctive Debuts series is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for the presentation of young artists provided by The Lizabeth and Frank Newman Charitable Foundation.

Additional endowment support for international outreach has been provided by the Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation.
This performance is part of Distinctive Debuts, and A Golden Age of Music.

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