Artistic Temperaments: Beethoven & Schubert In B Flat
THURSDAY 01 JANUARY - 12:00 AM
Sarah Moffatt violin
Sarah MacMahon cello
David Owen Norris 1802 Schantz fortepiano
Beethoven Piano Trio in B flat, Op 97 Archduke (1811)
Schubert Piano Trio in B flat (1828)
Beethoven and Schubert both wrote piano trios in the key of B flat. But what other keys did they visit during the course of the pieces?
Tonight, we follow the clues to the hidden secret: that both composers were tuning their pianos in a special way that Haydn – Beethoven’s teacher, Schubert’s idol – brought back to Vienna from his trips to London in the 1790s. Mingling there with the great scientists, Haydn came across the ‘temperament’ devised by Thomas Young. Young was the man who helped translate the Rosetta Stone, discovered how we see in colour with ‘rods and cones’, and devised Young’s Modulus, which still keeps bridges from falling down today. Unlike the way we tune pianos today, Young’s semitones were of slightly different sizes. David Owen Norris tunes his Viennese Schantz piano of 1802 in this temperament, and you will be amazed at the difference. David will explain some of the detective work at the concert.
Beethoven’s trio was one of the last pieces he performed as a pianist, in 1814, after which his hearing became too unreliable. He subsequently composed five more solo piano sonatas – not to mention string quartets and symphonies – but no more trios. This suggests that he regarded the piano trio particularly as a genre for himself. On 26 March 1828, the anniversary of Beethoven’s death, Schubert gave, for the only time in his career, a public concert of his own works, and included one of his piano trios. Both his mature piano trios date from the last year of his life. As so often, we can only imagine what he might have done, if only…
FREE TICKETS FOR 8-25 YEAR OLDS TO SELECTED CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERTS
Through the generous support of the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust, we are able to offer young people aged 8-25 the fantastic opportunity to experience selected concerts absolutely free.
FRIDAY 17 – MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2023
Most of the piano music we love best, we’ve never heard as its composer heard it.
Turner Sims, in association with the University of Southampton Music Department, presents a new four-day festival. Join us for a journey back in time to when the first pianos and keyboard instruments were made – and tuned – very differently. The University’s stunning collection of antique instruments – and one of their fine modern grands – will be tuned historically. David Owen Norris and guests help us to rediscover the classics as they would have sounded to those that composed them.
Artistic Temperaments thanks Lucy Coad for the loan of perfectly restored eighteenth-century square pianos.