Going through Ludwig van Beethoven’s chamber music catalogue is an interesting way to understand the impulses and impasses of a creative journey where the most imposing and later compositions usually come to notice. In this program we have the opportunity to hear three compositions dating back to the period when the musician was around 30 years old. The programme thus coincides with the end of the ‘first creative period of Beethoven’, during which a unique style of writing emerged, based on Haydn and Mozart, which transcended all expectations. It is good to remember that this period was about the same time that the Symphony No. 1 premiere took place in April, 1800, and that it had been more than seven years since the musician had moved to Vienna.
The soloists from the Metropolitana Orchestra will begin by playing the Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 4. These three movements demonstrate that avant-garde influence, with short, incisive musical ideas, dynamic contrasts, and unpredictable phrases that contradict light preferences. The Sonata for Cello No. 1 had been composed four years earlier, in 1796, curiously in Berlin, during a tour, and it was dedicated to Frederick William II, shortly before he became King of Prussia. Interestingly, this work is limited to two steps: a solemn introduction, similar to Haydn’s symphonies, followed by the good humour of a characterful Rondó. To conclude, violin, cello and piano come together in a trio whose score enables the possibility to substitute the violin with the clarinet. Interestingly enough, the curiosity of the last movement consists of a series of variations on a melody which were very popular in Vienna at the time, which came from Joseph Weigl’s opera ‘L’amor marinaro’. This explains why this trio is also known by the name of Gassenhauer (“a popular song” in German). As for the scenario, this is an aria which is sung for breakfast by a music teacher with an insatiable appetite.