Beethoven for Three: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 5 / Yo-Yo Ma, Kavakos, Ax

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Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, and Yo-Yo Ma's new album, Beethoven for Three: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5 will be released March 4th on Sony Classical. This recording explores two of Beethoven's iconic symphonies in trio arrangements, maintaining all of the power and immediacy of the composer's orchestral works within the intimate language of a chamber ensemble. The recording features an arrangement of Symphony No. 2 attributed to Beethoven’s friend and student Ferdinand Ries, working under the composer's supervision, and a brand new arrangement of Symphony No. 5 from contemporary English composer Colin Matthews. These performances challenge the traditional boundary between chamber and orchestral repertoire, offering the listener a new relationship with two of Beethoven’s most loved creations.


For playing that honors Beethoven’s radical quality, listen to this performance of Colin Matthews’ fresh and unexpected arrangement of the Fifth. A gifted orchestrator, here Matthews performs the magic trick in reverse...This is a Beethoven Five to return to and savor.

-- BBC Music Magazine

Ax, Kavakos, and Ma seem to have the orchestra very much in mind, particularly in the way Ax cushions many accents and sforzandos as if to mitigate the piano’s percussive quality. That said, there’s plenty of punch where required, and despite a few bothersome details, the Second Symphony receives an altogether engaging performance.

I wasn’t expecting to be absolutely bowled over by Colin Matthews’s arrangement of the Fifth Symphony, but I was – and still am. Matthews has done a most impressive job of paring the music down to its essentials while retaining its character and emotional impact.

-- Gramophone

Product Description:

  • Release Date: March 04, 2022

  • Catalog Number: 19439940142

  • UPC: 194399401422

  • Label: Sony

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: Classical

  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

  • Performer: Yo-Yo Ma, Leonidas Kavakos, Emanuel Ax


  1. Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36 (arr. attributed F. Ries)

    Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

    Performer: Leonidas Kavakos (Violin), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello), Emanuel Ax (Piano)

  2. Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (arr. Colin Matthews)

    Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

    Performer: Leonidas Kavakos (Violin), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello), Emanuel Ax (Piano)