Jon Kimura Parker of the Montrose Trio shares Beethoven's Archduke and Schubert's Piano Trio in B-flat major

The Montrose Trio, comprising former Tokyo String Quartet members Martin Beaver and Clive Greensmith and their longtime piano collaborator Jon Kimura Parker, quickly became an audience favorite following its UChicago Presents debut in the spring of 2018. Though we now have to wait awhile longer to welcome the Trio back to Mandel Hall, the group continues to bring us great chamber music with this video message from Jon Kimura Parker.

Jon takes us into Schubert's and Beethoven's B-flat piano trios, which made up the program for the group's April return to Mandel Hall, and he offers his favorite recording for your enjoyment. Listen to the trios for free on Spotify (linked below), then explore Schubert and Beethoven's connection as contemporaries in Vienna, and go deeper into Beethoven's Archduke Trio with an Inside Chamber Music presentation with Bruce Adolphe and UChicago Presents alumni Michael Brown (piano), Nicholas Canellakis (cello), and Arnaud Sussman (violin).


Listen: Cortot, Thibaud, and Casals perform Beethoven and Schubert

Screenshot of Spotify Player for Beethoven/Schubert Piano Trios by Cortot, Thibaud, Casals

"If you're the kind of person who likes listening to old recordings – like really, really old recordings where the spirit of Romanticism is very clear in the style of playing, you don't mind hearing the static, you know that these performers recorded everything in one take and barely edited anything – there's a beautiful old recording by Cortot, Thiebaud, and Casals, that really speaks to the heart of this very beautiful music."

Listen to Jon Kimura Parker's favorite recording of Schubert's B-flat Piano Trio, alongside Beethoven's Archduke Trio, for free on Spotify.

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Beethoven and Schubert: Contemporaries in Vienna

Side-by-side portraits of Beethoven and Schubert

As contemporaries in the relatively small city of Vienna (at the time), Beethoven was a constant presence throughout Schubert's life. The younger composer spent 30 of his 31 years in the shadow of Beethoven (he died a year and a half after the famously deaf composer), but he became a great admirer of the elder composer's work. Though there is no evidence the two ever met, Schubert was a torchbearer at Beethoven's funeral, and he reportedly requested to hear the latter's final string quartet on his own deathbed.

Beethoven, who died at 56 in 1827, and Schubert, who died at 31 in 1828, were interred next to each other in the village cemetery in Währing, outside of Vienna. Though both were later re-interred in Vienna's Zentralfriedhof (the Central Cemetery), they remain just a few meters apart from each other amongst many other great composers.

Explore Beethoven and Schubert's relationship in depth with "Beethoven and Schubert," an essay on the blog Unheard Beethoven by Paul Reid, author of The Beethoven Song Companion (2007), and former Chairman of the Schubert Institute (UK).



Watch: Inside Chamber Music with Bruce Adolphe

Screenshot of Peter Adolphe in Inside Chamber Music video

Composer Bruce Adolphe, Resident Lecturer at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, delves deep into Beethoven's Archduke Trio for CMSLC's "Inside Chamber Music Series."

Watch the video of the live presentation and get an inside look at the trio with UChicago Presents alumni Nicholas Canellakis (cello), Michael Brown (piano), and Arnaud Sussman (violin).

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