This last volume includes not only the "Archduke" Trio but also a three-movement Trio in E♭ dated c. 1791 that was published in Frankfurt in 1830 and two isolated trio movements, the first from the same period as the foregoing (or perhaps as early as 1784) and the second from 1812. None of the obscure works is likely to displace the standard canon of familiar trios, but the fact that collectors may obtain all of them at once in a single package makes this CD particularly attractive. The recording was made in Frankfurt in 1988 (...)
The tempos selected for the "Archduke" follow those indicated in Carl Czerny′s 1842 book, and the other works are paced briskly; these choices are in keeping with the recollections of Beethoven′s onetime student concerning how his master had performed them. The results are fascinating at every turn—these are bracing renditions, and the entire set of four CDs is highly recommended, even to those who are already intimately familiar with these scores.
John W. Lambert