- Trio for violin, viola & cello in E flat major, Op. 3
- Serenade for violin, viola & cello in D major, Op. 8
It could be argued that the "String Trio, Op. 3," and the "Serenade, Op. 8" (along with the "String Quintet, Op. 4"), were for Beethoven little more than a laboratory for experimenting with combinations of string instruments before his eventual triumphant foray into the string quartet with Op. 18. The similarities between Op. 3 and Mozart's "String Trio (Divertimento) K. 563," would lend support for this perspective. However, the string trios are in no way student works or any less important than Beethoven's extensive development of the string quartet. The two compositions heard here are a wonderful example of the exuberance of Beethoven's early writing. Although the violin is clearly favored for most of the melodic work, the viola and cello are still given plenty of intricate work, already pushing the envelope of convention. The trio of Attila Falvay (violin), Janos Fejervari (viola), and Gyorgy Eder (cello) does a fantastic job of representing the energy and vitality of these works. Not only are each of these performers superb musicians on their own, their united sound gives listeners the impression that these three are an established group devoted only to string trio playing. Their balance is exceptional and their ability to move out of the way of whichever instrument is most important at the moment is truly enjoyable. Intonation is precise and articulation is crisp (the fugato section of the Op. 3 Finale speaks volumes to this). This is absolutely a recommended recording both for collectors and novices looking for their first exposure to these charming works.