Beethoven for Three - Symphony No. 6 & Piano Trio op. 1, no. 3 / Yo-Yo Ma, Kavakos, Ax

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Like their first Beethoven for Three release — Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5 — this recording challenges the traditional boundary between chamber and orchestral repertoire to offer the listener two very different sides of the composer using the same three voices. In the C Minor piano trio, we hear Beethoven’s brilliant exploration of three instruments’ essential expressive capabilities; in the “Pastorale,” lovingly reimagined for trio by Shai Wosner, the piano, violin, and cello transcend their own identities to represent the endless creativity of the natural world, becoming, in turn, bird, brook, and storm. Beethoven for
Three: Symphony No. 6 “Pastorale” and Op. 1, No. 3 continues a musical conversation between three friends that always brings audiences new depths and delights.


Violinist Leonidas Kavakos, pianist Emanuel Ax, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, venerable veterans all, have recorded several of these Beethoven for Three albums, featuring a symphony arranged for piano trio along with other works by Beethoven or others. The arrangement of the Symphony No. 6, by contemporary pianist Shai Wosner, is especially good, with Ma's cello buzzing up an impressive storm in the fourth movement. All-star chamber music recordings often seemed designed more to sell albums than to realize musical values, but this group has a real rapport, with a flowing, lyrical Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1, No. 3, that can stand with any on the market. In general, there is a relaxed quality here that marks the best chamber playing. Sony's sound showcases the music ideally, and the setting must have been congenial for the musicians. A standout chamber release.

-- (James Manheim)

Product Description:

  • Release Date: November 11, 2022

  • Catalog Number: 19658739372

  • UPC: 196587393724

  • Label: Sony Music Entertainment

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: Classical

  • Composer: Shai Wosner, Ludwig van Beethoven

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


  1. Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 'Pastoral'

    Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

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

  2. Trio for Piano and Strings in C minor, Op. 1 No. 3

    Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

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