Originals and Arrangements
No one knows who first gave Beethoven’s Trio Op. 11 the nickname Gassenhauer (“street song”). Neither do we know if the name was kindly intended or derogatory, chosen to boost sales or perhaps meant ironically (Heinrich Heine, for instance, would later satirize the omnipresence of a tune, sung everywhere, from Weber’s opera chorus “Wir winden dir den Jungfernkranz”).
The catchy tune in Beethoven’s final movement with variations was the vocal trio “Pria ch‘io l‘impegno” (“Before I go to work”) from the comic opera L‘Amor marinaro (The Sailor’s Love), composed in 1797 by Joseph Weigl, who was a godchild of Haydn and had been pupil of Antonio Salieri.
The aria enjoyed widespread, long-term popularity: more than 30 years after the opera’s première, Paganini still delighted Vienna audiences with variations on the same tune. Beethoven wrote his instrumental trio only half a year after the première, probably fulfilling a commission by clarinetist Joseph Bähr, who is said to have asked for variations on that theme.
We cannot know whether Beethoven even liked the theme or not…….The most extended item on the program was a work with a relatively reduced lineup of musicians, a sort of reduced court orchestra: the “Septet on 4 string and 3 wind instruments, most humbly and obediently dedicated to
Her Majesty the Empress, and played by Sirs Schuppanzigh, Schreiber, Schindlecker, Bär, Nickel, Matauschek, and Dietzel” …… which remained Beethoven’s most performed work in the course of his lifetime. Beethoven himself arranged this work with an own Opus number for Clarinet, Cello and Piano around 1802 for the Publisher Breitkopf & Härtel….
When clarinetist Kilian Herold asked composer Johannes Schöllhorn to arrange a Beethoven work for trio, Schöllhorn thought of the Bagatelles Op. 119. The idea was to add a final level to a three-level concept, Composing Beethoven, consisting in an original work by Beethoven, then one of Beethoven’s arrangements of his own works, and, finally, a work by Beethoven arranged by a 21st-century composer. Schöllhorn, already wellexperienced in creative approaches to music of the past, deconstructs the original piano texture here in such a way that the resulting sound is not too lean, but opens up new areas of freedom for the pianist’s new partners.
He has conceived a light, airy trio texture brimming with discreet punch lines, interruptions, disruptions, unexpected connections, and cello sonorities ranging from sul tasto to col legno battuto, resulting in a fond, respectful homage to Beethoven.
Ever since he won the renowned ARD Music Competition in Munich as a member of the Armida Quartet, Peter-Philipp Staemmler has been invited to perform in major music venues all over Europe, Asia, and the US. While he was still studying at the Hanns Eisler University of Music in Berlin, he won a series of outstanding national and international competitions, including the Concours de Genève and the German National Music Competition.
Staemmler’s artistic and stylistic versatility as a member of several chamber music ensembles is captured on a multitude of CD recordings. Since 2017 he has been Principal Cellist of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony.
Known as a multifaceted chamber musician, a renowned clarinet soloist, and a high-profile orchestra musician, Kilian Herold is one of the most interesting and versatile clarinetists of his generation. After having held the post of Principal Clarinet at the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the SWR Symphony Orchestra, he was appointed Professor of Clarinet at Freiburg University of Music in 2016.
Herold is frequently invited to guest with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and can be regularly seen and heard at a number of international chamber music and contemporary music festivals.
Hansjacob Staemmler is Professor of Chamber Music and Piano Accompaniment/Coaching at Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, after having previously taught at the music universities of Berlin, Freiburg, and Karlsruhe. For many years, he has been pursuing a wide-ranging career as soloist, chamber musician, and vocal accompanist. His activities focus on chamber music in a number of different formations. Already during his studies, he performed on a regular basis as a chamber musician with soloists of the Berliner Philharmoniker orchestra in the Ensemble Berlin.
Since then, Hansjacob Staemmler has been collaborating with renowned instrumentalists and vocalists in a great variety of chamber music formations, ranging from duos to sextets. As a piano soloist, he has given recitals as well as concerts with orchestras. His artistic pursuits are likewise documented on several CD releases, along with numerous recordings for radio broadcast (Deutschlandradio Kultur, Bayrischer Rundfunk, Südwestfunk, and others). “Composing Beethoven,” Staemmler’s most recent chamber music CD featuring Beethoven’s clarinet trios with Kilian Herold (clarinet) and Peter-Philipp Staemmler (cello), was nominated for the German Record Critics’ Prize.
In duo formation with his brother, Peter-Philipp Staemmler (cello), Hansjacob was awarded the First Prize at the 2009 National Music Competition and chosen for the “Young Artist Concerts” national selection. Hansjacob Staemmler studied piano with Prof. Georg Sava at the Hanns Eisler University of Music in Berlin, completing his training with active participation in masterclasses imparted by Daniel Barenboim and Menahem Pressler. Oboist Burkhard Glaetzner has exerted a decisive influence on Staemmler’s artistic development: with Glaetzner, he has premiered a number of works by major contemporary composers.