Beethoven for Three: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5 – Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, Yo-Yo Ma

March 21, 2022, 9:00 am

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Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, and Yo-Yo Ma’s new album erases the border between orchestral and chamber music, presenting two of Beethoven’s iconic symphonies in intimate arrangements that maintain the power and immediacy of the works. Beethoven for Three transports listeners to the turn of the nineteenth century, when audiences would have been more familiar with the composer’s music in arrangements for piano trio, string quartet, or piano four hands than for full orchestra. Here, Ax, Kavakos, and Ma seek out the most essential elements of Beethoven’s musical language, pairing his Second Symphony, arranged for trio by Beethoven’s pupil Ferdinand Ries, with his Fifth in a newly-commissioned arrangement by Colin Matthews.