Mittelbadische Presse, 11 March 2024
Sound perfection
The TrioVanBeethoven conquered the audience in the Alte Kirche Fautenbach on Sunday with works by three largely unknown composers. Not only the works, but also the composers of the subscription concerts on Sunday were almost unknown to the audience. EgonWellesz, Alexander von Zemlinsky and Erich Wolfgang Korngold have several characteristics in common: they all got to know the endlessly rich musical life of the Danube Monarchy at a tender age in the late Romanticism of the 19th century. They received their training in strict musical composition as well as in the tonal art of instrumentation between Brahms, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. […]
The applause on Sunday went primarily to the artists and their convincing performances, to the pianist, when he was sometimes energetic, sometimes reserved with regard to the nuances of the strings, and discreet dance tendencies dominated. The violinist's luminous cantilenas could be admired in all three works; and whenever the cellist began one of his expressive solos, he could be sure of the audience's attention.
The TrioVanBeethoven received frenetic final applause.


Rheinische Post, 8 October 2020
Melodiousness with a kilt
First “Meisterkonzert” after lockdown with TrioVanBeethoven

Organiser MGMG is ready for “Meisterkonzert” number 1 after lockdown at Kaiser-Friedrich-Halle: Personnel at every corner, loads of paperwork for contact tracing, ticket windows, wardrobe in the foyer, friendly ushers at every door. Ample breathing space in the concert hall itself for the few visitors, all seated well apart, strangely though also in the first rows. Strangely so because TrioVanBeethoven, who, along with their namesake, have brought Haydn with them as well, will also sing. In the shape of a tenor in a kilt and a soprano in evening dress. More of this later.

First Haydn’s late piano trio n° 35 in C major, in which the master’s spontaneous, unusual changes between major and minor almost seem to be pointing ahead towards Schubert. Three witty movements with a breakneck presto finale. In which the two strings reveal a fine tonal culture, and the pianist both a highly dynamic reserve and an extremely inventive sense of freedom. These qualities become even more apparent in Beethoven’s “Ghost trio”, which concludes the concert.

With their recording of “Beethoven’s Celtic Voice” the trio last year released an original and much acclaimed contribution to the jubilee - together with singers Lorna Anderson (soprano) and Jamie MacDougall (tenor). The two original imports from the island contest the middle part of the one-hour long programme, in which Haydn and Beethoven prove themselves to be delightful and creative arrangers of Scottish, Welsh and Irish folk and drinking songs. MacDougall’s particular appeal lies in his stage talent, Anderson’s in her beautifully led soprano. An enthralling evening.


Westfalen-Blatt, 30 September 2020
From delicate to hearty and “very British”
Acclaim for “TrioVanBeethoven” and soloists Lorna Anderson and Jamie MacDougall

Bielefeld (WB). Who would have thought that of all years it would be during the Beethoven jubilee year that so much music fell silent? Finally, concert halls are again being “filled” with life and music – including that of Beethoven. Just as in this season’s first philharmonic chamber music concert, in which “TrioVanBeethoven” among others captivated its audience at Oetkerhalle with its namesake’s “Ghost trio”.
This of course does not come as a surprise, with Clemens Zeilinger (piano), Verena Stourzh (violin) and Franz Orter (cello) being a harmonious and well-established ensemble, possessing a finely tuned and nuanced sound, as well as a vitalizing light-footedness and enthusiasm. Add to this their passionate expressiveness, which even turns ever so small phrases into musical “petitesses”.

As an entrée, the trio served Joseph Haydn’s piano trio in C major (Hob. XV:21), one of the trios composed in London, with ever new nuances on the part of the strings and the delicately pearling touch of the piano. Apart from the vocal characteristics of the trio, which became particularly apparent in the slow Andante molto movement, it was the dance-like elements in the first and last movements which were performed with such exuberance and an added touch of impulsivity that you could easily imagine hearing the rasping sound of the bagpipes and the sturdy stamping of the dancers.
All in all, reminiscences of veritable British folklore, which Haydn artistically weaved into his trio in C major and which gave a foretaste of the hardly known adaptations of Scottish, Welsh and Irish folk songs by Beethoven and Haydn, two representatives of the First Viennese School.
For both, this was a good source of income, and they thus left to posterity a rich canon of folklorically coloured art songs based on melodies of the United Kingdom. In tonight’s concert, these were wonderfully performed by soprano Lorna Anderson and tenor Jamie MacDougall – always accompanied by the wittiness and richness of the trio.

Both Anderson and MacDougall (in an authentic kilt) are at home on international opera and concert stages. What predestines them to interpret and advocate these folkloric jewels is probably their Scottish origin. Finally, the great sensitivity and performance with which they brought to life these short character pieces enthralled the audience. Be it with lyrical melancholy, cheeky rebelliousness (Anderson), wistful yearning or drunken party spirit (MacDougall) – both soloists convince with their enormous range of expression, volume and warm timbre, with the clarity of their voices emphasising the authenticity of the folk songs.
The duets were the highlights of their performance, in particular “The East Neuk o’Fife” by Joseph Haydn, a song about a hefty and coarse marital row in which Lorna Anderson as bickering wife and Jamie MacDougall drunkard husband both play out their full potential. Great fun – and succeeded by three frantically acclaimed encores.
The joy and enthusiasm about live concerts could be felt on both sides.


WAZ (Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung), 28 September 2020
Chamber music concert
Scottish festival with Beethoven and Haydn in Duisburg

The audience of the Duisburg chamber music concert at Mercatorhalle experienced a Scottish folk festival with TrioVanBeethoven and singers Lorna Anderson and Jamie MacDougall. TrioVanBeethoven performed folk songs arranged by Beethoven and Haydn – and ghostlike music.
Although Ludwig van Beethoven never left continental Europe, his arrangements of Scottish, Irish and Welsh folk songs were among his bestsellers, because these folk songs could also be performed by talented lay musicians in their private music circles. The song cycle is combined with Joseph Haydn’s Scottish folk songs and two piano trios – one by each of the composers.

The performance opens with Haydn’s piano trio in C major, in which this bright and vivid key shines out of every note, the melodies swinging back and forth optimistically and light-footedly between violin and piano. Verena Stourzh and Clemens Zeilinger skilfully alternate between melody and accompaniment, while Franz Ortner at the cello provides a discreet basis.

Beethoven’s trio in D major, the “Ghost trio”, is a lot more dramatic and richer in contrast. Beethoven’s music is more nuanced than Haydn’s, as well as harmoniously and technically more challenging. The trio’s rendering is particularly effective in the middle movement with its ghost-like tremolo, which gave the trio its epithet.

Haydn’s and Beethoven’s arrangements of folk songs are rarely part of the regular concert schedules as they show the composers from an entirely different angle – as arrangers of already existing folk song melodies for vocals and piano trio. The success of the concert in Duisburg is certainly also due to the performances of soprano Lorna Anderson and tenor Jamie MacDougall. They did not turn the songs into operatic performances but brought them to life in a carefree, dance-like and narrative manner. TrioVanBeethoven accompanies the singers in an atmospheric and exact manner, an accompaniment full of pretty accentuations in which the composer gave the musicians ample space for solo performances in the interludes.
Anderson and MacDougall always keep a laudable distance to the text, simply telling the stories instead of choosing a neck and crop performance. The moderations provide for an almost familiar atmosphere between singers and audience.

After the cheerful cycle of Scottish songs arranged by Joseph Haydn the Duisburg audience applauds enthusiastically and is rewarded with three more songs from the British Isles.


Kleine Zeitung, 30 August 2020

Classical music in the bailey
Sparkling melodiousness
TrioVanBeethoven acclaimed in Klagenfurt

In a nutshell: brilliant. This is how TrioVanBeethoven performed at „Klassik im Burghof“ – albeit in the concert hall due to the weather situation. Listening to Verena Stourzh (violin), Franz Ortner (cello) and Clemens Zeilinger (piano) was an absolute delight.
The three musicians are perfectly in tune with each other, always a harmonious whole, demonstrating the entire range of chamber musical excellence. The concert began with Joseph Haydn’s Piano trio in C major Hob. XV:27. Its initial uplifting character changes into a song like warmth and ends in a finale full of contrasts – all performed with clarity and engaging gesture.
While Beethoven’s Piano trio n° 1 in E flat major op. 1/1 seemed a little stiff at first, it then grew into a beautifully cantabile adagio. A romantic atmosphere was present in Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s trio in D minor op. 49. With the cello introducing the first warm notes, the breath of musical noblesse could be felt right from the start. Throughout, the trio was characterised by precise interactions between the instruments, a plastic rendering of the architecture of the piece and cultivated emotions, especially in the second movement in which sparkling melodiousness (in particular on behalf of the piano) allowed enticing beauty to blossom, heightened in the scherzo and completed at a tearing pace. The virtuosity of both the individual musicians and their interaction with each other as well as the dynamic and captivating arrangement produced a truly excellent performance.


Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, 26 November 2019
Fantastic chamber music for a jubilee
TrioVanBeethoven convinces at the Landesgalerie

As so often, external circumstances make creative solutions necessary and allow something new to develop. Just as in 1999, when the idea to allow the instruments of the Landesmuseum to be heard, to promote young musicians and to make use of the mostly unused festival hall of the Landesgalerie led to the creation of the „Sunday music at the salon“ concerts. The 128th concert on Sunday marked a jubilee in this successful and mostly sold out series of concerts. TrioVanBeethoven – Verena Stourzh (violin), Franz Ortner (cello) und Clemens Zeilinger (piano) – congratulated with a wonderfully joyful and fast paced Haydn’s trio in C major Hob. XV/21 and Beethoven’s “Ghost trio”. The stir the three musicians created was not only due to their immediate and captivating take on the music but arose especially from their multifaceted, sensitive and deeply felt performance – amazing technique paired with highest emotionality. Schubert’s Trout Quintet is an ideal choice for such a jubilee concert and for this, TrioVanBeethoven were joined by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra members Ursula Ruppe-Plaichinger (viola) und Herbert Mayr (double bass). Here too, liveliness was central to the performance, together with agogic refinement and a fresh interpretation of this so well known piece of music.
Conclusion: Exceptionally performed chamber music, turning this jubilee concert into a true feast for music lovers.


Süddeutsche Zeitung , 25 November 2019
Full of energy
TrioVanBeethoven’s harmonious ensemble performance

If a piano trio chooses to call itself TrioVanBeethoven, this is not simply a name, it is a programmatic choice. An ensemble’s identification with a composer sends a strong signal both about its artistic starting point and its musical focal point. On Saturday, TrioVanBeethoven – Clemens Zeilinger (piano), Verena Stourzh (violin) and Franz Ortner (cello) – made a guest appearance at the “Fürstenfelder Konzertreihe” at the Stadtsaal, of course with an oeuvre of their namesake part of the programme - Ludwig van Beethoven’s trio in D major op. 70  n° 1, also known as “Ghost trio”. The musicians started the allegro opening movement with great, if a little much verve, and captivated the audience with the wonderful harmony and precise intonation of their performance right from the rich and well rounded fortissimo of the opening bars on. The largo middle movement, which the trio derives its epithet from, goes back to Beethoven’s pupil and master of etudes, Carl Czerny, who saw a connection to the ghost in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”.
A medium level of dynamics created a beautiful aura with a number of tremoli evocative of ghosts.
The ensemble maintained this high level of energy right up to the presto final movement, which was fully led by the pianist.
The musicians had opted for the trio in C major HOB XV:21 by Joseph Haydn to begin their programme with. Considering that Haydn is seen as the “father” of the piano trio genre and that Beethoven was once his student, this was a convincing choice.
The piano trio in B major op. 8 by Brahms, a great admirer of Beethoven, followed after the interval.
From the scherzo on the ensemble’s interpretation of the piano sections made the elf-like passages seem to float in the clouds. Beautiful dialogues unfolded in the adagio and the final allegro was marked by hymnal qualities.


Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, 13 July 2019
Virtuoso prelude to the end of the Klassikfest - Intense sounds from Beethoven to Korngold

The opening concert of the Klassikmusikfest Mühlviertel on Thursday was dedicated to situations of farewell. TrioVanBeethoven gave a great and beautifully intense insight into goodbyes with Peter Barcaba’s Trio, written shortly before his death, Korngold’s opus 1, reminding us of the years of displacement and exile during the time of National Socialism, and finally Beethoven’s Archduke Trio, which is closely linked to his last appearance on stage before the total silence of his deafness set in.
TrioVanBeethoven was exquisite as usual: brilliant and full of energy, heartfelt and inspired.


Kronenzeitung, 9 October 2018
TrioVanBeethoven: Moving atmosphere

TrioVanBeethoven captivated the audience in Schloss Kremsegg with an extraordinarily sophisticated performance, characterised by technical perfection and a sensitivity of interpretation.
Haydn’s trio in C major, which delighted the audience with its dance-like vibrancy, served as the pastoral introduction. It was followed by the central piece of the concert, Beethoven’s piano trio in E flat major, with its mesmerising vitality and emotional Adagio cantabile. The finely felt romanticism and dramatic impact of Dvořák’s piano trio in F minor produced a profound and moving atmosphere, which was reinforced by the ardent activity of the trio in the finale. Standing ovations!


Concerti Magazin, September 2018
CD review TrioVanBeethoven - Beethoven’s Celtic Voice
A charming surprise*****

In their own way, Beethoven’s arrangements of British folk songs for the collector and editor George Thomson are a just as similarly artificial construct as Des Knaben Wunderhorn or Grimm’s fairy tales. Yet any philological reservations end in view of this anthology with its sophisticated accompaniment for piano trio. Without exception the five musicians find the right air, avoid overly refinements and perform with effortless moderation. The vocal soli maintain the ideal balance between clarity on the one hand and the smoothness of the strings on the other, which here reach a far softer and rounder synthesis than is usual for piano and soli in the art song genre. Effortless attention to detail, precision and congenial simplicity merge to form a delightful result. A charming surprise.


Pizzicato, 11 September 2018
Beethoven - traditional, yet still artistic

Of Beethoven’s vast spectrum of arrangements of folk music from all of Europe and beyond, this recording presents a selection of songs about all sides of life, the beautiful and the sad, from Brexit lands, i.e. Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
And these charming pieces of music are performed in a delightful way. Singers Lorna Anderson and Jamie MacDougall, who are both Glasgow-born and speak Gaelic, interpret the words not only with joy, but downright enthusiasm. The still fairly young ‘TrioVanBeethoven’, whose core repertoire focuses on the Viennese school, has joined together with these two singers in order to make known Beethoven’s lesser known, but musically interesting folk song arrangements. Valid intentions, utterly successful!


Classics Today, 10 September 2018
The Celtic Side Of Beethoven

If the names and faces on the cover of this disc of Beethoven British folksong arrangements look vaguely familiar, it might be because the ingredients are much the same as those of the splendidly charming recordings of all (!) of Haydn’s such arrangements on Brilliant Classics from a decade ago. Those were made by Haydn Trio Eisenstadt with the Glaswegian singers Lorna Anderson and Jamie MacDougall. Violinist Verena Stourzh, who was a member of said Haydn Trio from 1998 until 2010 and participated in all those recordings for Brilliant now anchors the TrioVanBeethoven which performs on this Gramola release–together with the same singers.

In a way, that makes this recording the logical continuation of Brilliant’s Haydn Song Project, adding to it–for now–a few Beethovenian selections of these same types of songs. It is also the logical continuation of the Beethoven-exploits of the TrioVanBeethoven on the Gramola label, which already includes the complete piano trios. One way or the other, the result is civilized loveliness that is worth hearing.  […]
Even if Beethoven’s arrangements are a little harder, a little less malleable, and bring less of that heart-breaking Scottish and Irish twang across than those of Haydn (which decidedly ought to be heard by every classical music lover), they are still a curious delight worth dipping one’s ears into. The singers, 10 years on, still sound excellent and really sell the songs’ stories, and the TrioVanBeethoven adds passion and crackle as the backup band. The proposition of owning and listening to all of Beethoven’s 179 such arrangements might only be attractive to hardened completists, but a smattering of them is a terrific way of hearing a different, rarely encountered side of Beethoven. Which is exactly what’s on offer here.


Falter Feuilleton, 22 August 2018
TrioVanBeethoven: Beethoven’s Celtic Voice

Austrian TrioVanBeethoven presents a lesser known side of the great master - that of the arranger of songs. Beethoven set a number of folk songs to music, among them Scottish, Irish and Welsh songs. Together with Scottish singers Lorna Anderson (soprano) and Jamie MacDougall (tenor), the three musicians interpret 21 of a total of 178 genially composed and indeed demanding songs. Let’s have more, please! (Gramola)


Südwest Presse, 26 July 2018
Beethoven unknown

Anyone interested in classical music will know Ludwig van Beethoven’s symphonies. Unlike these nine “hits”, his folk song arrangements, composed between 1809 and 1820, are at the bottom end of the scale when it comes to renown, even to experts on the matter. And quite wrongly so, according to TrioVanBeethoven (Verena Stourzh, violin, Franz Ortner, cello, Clemens Zeilinger, piano). Together with singers Lorna Anderson (soprano) and Jamie MacDougall (tenor) the Vienna based ensemble therefore decided to record a selection of 21 of these arrangements for Gramola (distributor: Naxos) on a CD truly worth listening to. Make sure that you do not miss out on this unknown, yet none the less fascinating Beethoven.


Kronenzeitung, 15 December 2017
Tribute to Beethoven

In Kremsegg castle, the brilliant TriovanBeethoven surprised with a work of the Linz composer Helmut Rogl. The piece is dedicated to the three musicians.

Verena Stourzh, Franz Ortner and Clemens Zeillinger convinced with the „Rondo appassionato - a tribute to #ludwigvan“ by Helmut Rogl. This exciting work, with accentuated rhythms and an episodic structure of sound was received enthusiastically. Beethoven's Trio in E flat major with its impetuous finale was masterly performed, and as concluding work Franz Schubert's emotional Trio in E flat major was enthrallingly played. Thunderous applause.


Musicweb International, July 2017
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Trios Volume 4 (GRAMOLA 99120)

TrioVanBeethoven bring to a close their survey of the complete trios of the composer whom they have chosen - some might say bravely - to name themselves after. I encountered them first in Volume 3, and I was exceptionally impressed. […]

The three works on this final disc are not among the more travelled paths in the Beethoven trio repertoire. They do have a musical connection by way of their use of variations, with No. 3’s slow movement and No. 4’s finale comprising theme and variations.

Beethoven’s opus 1 trios are surely among the best works ever to be given the honour of a composer’s first publication. I particularly adore the second, but there is no doubting the quality of all three. No. 3 is in the key that he would make famous a decade or so later, and the first movement even bears the tempo marking of Allegro con brio! I feel that TVB is lacking a little in brio here, but when I listened to the Florestan Trio, I had the same reaction; Trio Wanderer strikes me as the best in this movement. I have no such problems with TVB’s performance of the remainder of the work.

Trio No. 4 gains its nickname from the name given to songs whistled or sung by almost everyone, notably night-time revellers. In this instance, Beethoven employs a melody in vogue at the time from the 1797 comic opera L’amor marinaro ossia Il corsaro by Joseph Weigl as the inspiration for the third movement variations. It was originally written with clarinet instead of violin, and Beethoven soon produced a version for the more conventional grouping. Of Beethoven’s seven full trios, I would say that it ranks a fairly clear last in musical inspiration. The performance here makes about as much of it as there is to make.

The E flat variations are a much earlier work than their opus number suggests. They are very clearly the work of a composer in the process of dealing with the complexities of writing for the combination; the difference in quality between this work and the soon to be written three opus 1 trios is quite remarkable. Beethoven learnt his lessons very quickly; no surprise there.

TrioVanBeethoven does not storm the barricades like some; these are graceful, smiling performances, and some will prefer a more vigorous approach. As I have said in a previous review, Beethoven’s trios as a group strike me as among his happiest works, so TVB’s approach fits my sense of how the works should be. This set is up there with the Florestan Trio on Hyperion. If you already own that, you might feel that you do not need these; let me suggest that if you love these trios, you should have these in your collection. The recording venue is the same as with previous volumes, and provides an excellent acoustic.

If you haven’t purchased any of the previous volumes, this is not the one to start with – go for Volume 3. Those of you who have already taken the plunge with TrioVanBeethoven should need little persuasion to complete your set. I should also note that Gramola have released a boxset of all four CDs with the trio in this lineup at a considerable saving.


Musicweb International, November 2016
Recording of the month: Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Trios Volume 3 (GRAMOLA 99117)

Naming your ensemble after a famous composer, especially one whose works you have chosen to begin your recording career, does create something of an expectation of a “special” relationship. Violinist Verena Stourzh has “form” here, as she was a member of the Haydn Trio Eisenstadt until its disbanding in 2010. I’m pleased to report that in this volume at least, TrioVanBeethoven does have a special relationship with the great one, as they have given us stunningly good performances here.
Beethoven’s piano trios, for me, are the least stormy, most cheerful of his output. In part, this may be due to their relatively early composition. Even the final, and perhaps greatest of them - the Archduke, op. 97 - was written in his middle period. There are none to parallel the ground-breaking late quartets and piano sonatas.
The two complete works presented here are among his sunniest. His three Opus 1 trios are very much in the mould of Haydn and Mozart, and are considered by some to be lesser works. Mature Beethoven they may not be, but I have a great deal of affection for them, and especially No. 2. No. 6 may be somewhat dwarfed by those chronologically before (Ghost) and after (Archduke) but is still a great work.
My yardstick for the Beethoven trios is the Florestan Trio and that remains so, despite the very significant impression that TrioVanBeethoven has made on me here. The Florestans give a brilliant performance, and I employ that adjective for both its meanings: splendid/excellent and glittering/bright. TrioVanBeethoven give a more genial and spacious reading of both works, especially Op. 1/2, where they take almost three minutes more. This is a smiling, playful even relaxed Beethoven, not necessarily adjectives normally applied to him, but not out of place in this work. Trio No. 6 is taken similarly, though the difference to the Florestans is less here. In case you begin to think these are old-fashioned big Romantic performances, let me assure you that they are not. There is nothing heavy about them; somehow TrioVanBeethoven have managed to balance a lightness of touch with a sense of repose. They provide a quite complementary view to the Florestans, whose brilliance might even be too dazzling, depending on your mood.
The sound quality lives up to the performances: immediate, natural and without any extraneous breathing or mechanical noises. When you factor in informative liner notes, you have the complete package. I’m off to buy Volumes 1 & 2, and I look forward to Volume 4 – may it not take too long to arrive.


Westfälischer Anzeiger, 28 October 2016
Beethoven refreshed
Austrian musicians enthral at Heessen Palace concert

HAMM  The first public performance of Beethoven’s  „Archduke Trio“ in 1814 at the same time marked the end of his career as a pianist: His deafness had progressed to such an extent that he was no longer able to control dynamic differentiation. On Wednesday evening Clemens Zeilinger, TrioVanBeethovens’s pianist, whetted the audience’s appetite for music in his initial moderation for the Heessener Palace concert. With his partners Verena Stourzh (violin) and Franz Ortner (cello) he sounded the nuances of the master’s last composition for piano trio. […] Zeilinger’s lyrical approach decided to forgo heroic effects and instead focused on a widely laid out cantabile. With perfect skill, feeling and fire, the three Austrian top instrumentalists offered new insights into Beethoven’s oeuvre. After this intense milestone in the history of piano trios, both the artists – the opus requires 45 minutes of fullest concentration – as well as the audience were in need of a short interval in order to prepare themselves for what was to follow. Johannes Brahms’ piano trio in B major is his earliest as well as latest composition for this format. Dissatisfaction with his early work resulted in its undergoing a radical revision 35 years on. […] With the interpretation of this late opus the three musicians yet again proved their extraordinary skills: Soloistic as well as chamber musical excellence, enriched with vital creative energy, finest nuancing, intensity, yet always smooth and emotionally captivating, all together resulted in an absolutely wonderful musical experience. Some elements of the early version, such as the bizarre scherzo or the choral-like beginning of the adagio, found grace in the old master’s critical ear. The trio thus offered an inspired interpretation, combining romantic exuberance with streamlining of form and density of motifs. Finally, the artists rewarded the enthusiastic audience with a movement from the trio in E minor by Clara Schumann, with whom Brahms was united in friendship for many years.


Wiener Zeitung, 20 September 2016
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Trios Vol. 3 (Gramola 99117)
So much classical joyfulness

Nomen est omen: In 2011, three established Austrian chamber musicians got together to form TrioVanBeethoven. The dedicated visionaries in question are the exceptionally talented pianist Clemens Zeilinger (Linz), the excellent violinist Verena Stourzh (known from her rich career with Haydn Trio Eisenstadt) and Franz Ortner, sensitive and insightful master cellist. Currently, they are en route in one of the most joyful genres for classical trio: As much as Beethoven’s quartets are earnest, as absolute his piano sonatas, so incredibly refreshing are his piano trios. The short and little known allegretto movement in B major WoO 39 (1812) is simply enchanting – just as the perfection of the four-movement early trio in G major op. 1/2 (1793) allows an insight into the future development of the composer. The trio in E-flat major, op. 70/2, the companion piece to his „Ghost trio“, finally allows the fascinated listeners to simply dive into this mastery of small cast, high-quality entertainment.
Classical music full of esprit.


Kurier, 28 August 2016
TrioVanBeethoven: Beethoven

Classical Music: TrioVanBeethoven once again lives up to its name with the release of part three of the complete recordings of Ludwig van Beethoven’s piano trios. Among others, trios number 2 and 6 are interpreted with precision and vitality by Verena Stourzh (violin), Clemens Zeilinger (piano) and Franz Ortner (cello).


Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, 21 July 2016
TrioVanBeethoven’s both moving and brilliant performance in the arcade court of the “Landhaus” in Linz.

Solo as well as chamber musical perfection are characteristic of TrioVanBeethoven.
Violinist Verena Stourzh is distinguished by her creative power, her vitality and the ability to express even the slightest dynamic nuances.
Cellist Franz Ortner shows an incomparable sound in the cantilenas, yet at the same time convincing intensity and straightforwardness of play.
Pianist Clemens Zeilinger’s brilliant mastery of his instrument is precise and delicate, his interpretation of the music emotionally exciting and clever.
The variation-movement of the opening piece, Beethoven's early piano trio op. 11, on a "Gassenhauer" from the opera "The Corsair for Love" revealed the trio’s richness of ideas and pleasure of playing.
Dvorak’s "Dumky-Trio", a series of introverted lamentations, the melancholy of which is often abruptly interrupted by dance-like cheerfulness, demands fast emotional changes, imagination and technical brilliance. Qualities which TrioVanBeethoven possesses in perfection.
Trio op. 8 by Johannes Brahms, which was composed in his early years and changed radically later on, is a jewel of chamber music. The spooky scherzo, first guarded, then faster and faster, was particularly striking, and the interplay between strings and piano at the beginning of the chorale-like adagio was yet another of the many impressive and touching moments of the evening.

OÖN rating: ******


Neues Volksblatt, 22 September 2015
Bruckner-Festival: Russian Sounds in Chamber Music

Pianist Clemens Zeilinger is practically at home at Brucknerhaus Linz, where he has already been celebrated several times for cyclic performances (Beethoven, Schubert). Last Sunday he was back to present a Russian programme together with his congenial partners of TrioVanBeethoven, Verena Stourzh (violin) and Franz Ortner (cello). 

The three musicians have been working together for just a few years; may they continue playing together for a very long time to come – such is their great and harmonious artistic understanding of one another! Their personal virtuosity always ranks behind the content of the piece of music they have worked on together. Furthermore, a strong affinity to Russian music could be felt this time, the deepness and melancholy of which manifested itself in a very expressive interpretation. Chamber music by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich performed in such a concentrated way is rarely heard in concert. 

Shostakovich’s trios, one from 1923, the other one twenty years younger, are a kind of diary turned into music, his early work filled with the young student’s rich inspiration, later a memorial of mourning to a dead friend, reverting to Jewish folklore. Rachmaninoff’s Trio élégiaque n° 1 in G minor stands for the mourning of the death of his role model Tchaikovsky in 1893; just as the first movement “pezzo élégiaque” of Tchaikovsky’s piano trio op. 50 was dedicated to the memory of Nikolai Rubinstein. TrioVanBeethoven expressed its thanks for the ovations with an elegiac melody by Michail Glinka.


Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, 11 July 2015
Chamber Music Marathon of the finest in Mühlviertel

On Thursday the “Klassik Musikfest Mühlviertel” in Schnopfhagen-Stadl in Oberneukirchen was opened at the piano by Clemens Zeilinger, the event’s artistic director for the second time. It is a chamber music festival, the programming of which is extremely interesting. After having made “Opus 1” its centre last year, Clemens Zeilinger this year focused on two different types of instrumentations and reflected upon them from various stages of musical history: the piano trio on the one hand, the song on the other. [….]

The chosen works included not only the expected “mainstream”, but instead compositions perfectly suited to the motto of this small, but particularly fine music festival – “Friend. Foe / In Love. Related”. Ignaz Pleyel’s piano trio in A major B.448, which, in a not at all disinterested way, was published in London as a work of Haydn and badly bruised the friendship between the two composers, is a piece of music well suited to the theme of foe. TrioVanBeethoven performed this typical example of easy listening chamber music of the time in an exquisitely fine and joyful manner.

And it was just so with the equally playful and cheerful work of the plagiarising colleague – Haydn’s trio in C major Hob. XV:21. The two compositions were joined together by just the sort of rarities which for a long time were not taken seriously, two of the 429 arrangements of folk songs Joseph Haydn wrote for Scottish editor George Thomson and which are generally dismissed as odd jobs. Yet they contain much imagination and a good feel for these melodies – which becomes transparent when Anna Maria Pammer and TrioVanBeethoven embrace these gems. Beethoven in a way took on Haydn’s “job” and himself wrote 177 such arrangements – two of which were sung just as convincingly by Bea Robein.

After the interval TrioVanBeethoven played Beethoven’s final piano trio op. 97, which is of quite a different class and cannot be seen simply as a piece of entertainment. It is particularly in the andante that Beethoven reaches mastery in the art of variation, which also demands much of the listener. There was a lot of applause for the grandiose interpretation, for which the musicians after almost three hours expressed their thanks with the slow movement of Clara Schumann’s trio in G-minor.

OÖN rating: ******


Neues Volksblatt, 13 July 2015
Tracking down a mesh of relations
Extraordinary listening experience at the “Klassikfest Mühlviertel” in Oberneukirchen

For the second time now Clemens Zeilinger has managed to create a festival of select chamber music in “Schnopfhagen-Stadl”. […]
The thematic motto of “Friend. Foe. In love. Related” connects the compositions chosen by Zeilinger, and which he sees as a mesh of relations between the composers of the First Viennese School: Haydn/Beethoven or Haydn/Pleyel, but also Beethoven and his friend, pupil and patron, Archduke Rudolf. On the first evening of the festival “TrioVanBeethoven” created an atmosphere of exceptional enthusiasm among the audience with their exquisitely artful ensemble playing. Was it the liveliness of the Beethoven scherzo or the following gentle cantabile of the “Erzherzog Trio” or Pleyel’s bubbly rondo – the noticeable passion and dedication of the musicians made this evening an extraordinary listening experience. […]


Music Web International, 2 May 2015
TrioVanBeethoven’s Refreshing Approach to Music-Making

Beethoven, Fribbins, Brahms
TrioVanBeethoven at Hall One, Kings Place, London, 26.4.2015

… TrioVanBeethoven’s passionate and sincere performance suited the music well and the juxtaposition of expressive instrumental cadenzas, melodic episodes, furious passagework, ghostly harmonics and cheeky pizzicatos was deftly navigated …

… what proved to be a more than credible performance of the Brahms trio …

… the ensemble performed with determination and vigour throughout …


Bonner General-Anzeiger, 12 August 2014
Sensitivity and Department of Attack
TrioVanBeethoven at Haydn-Festival Brühl

Using „The Master and his Sorcerer’s Apprentice“ as its motto, TrioVanBeethoven gave a guest performance at this year’s Haydn-Festival in Brühl. Violinist Verena Stourzh had already performed several times in Brühl, previously though with the Haydn Trio Eisenstadt and Haydn, whose piano trios were again part of the programme, his being the „master“ in the afore mentioned concert title. The trio, which was founded in 2011, began the evening with Haydn’s Trio in C major Hob XV:21, and immediately set a lively mood in the first movement. The slow centre movement was a first indication of how the three members of TrioVanBeethoven act as equal partners, ending the first piece of the evening in a mischievous manner and echoing English country dances.
Haydn’s „sorcerer’s apprentice“ was Ludwig van Beethoven, whose compositions complemented the programme in Brühl. The trio thus not only portrayed the relationship between the two composers, but also illustrated a considerable development in the history of this genre. Cellist Franz Ortner was therefore allowed to take a little more centre stage in the following piece, Beethoven’s Trio in G major op. 1, 2. The ensemble proved to be very well attuned – despite having played together in this combination only since last year. Thus the various atmospheres of the opening movement succeeded convincingly and without difficulty, and the largo sounded homogenous and most expressive. The break was followed by yet more compositions by Haydn and Beethoven, their direct comparison making this concert all the more attractive.
In Haydn’s Trio in E flat major Hob XV:29 the trio charmingly translated the character of the German dances of his time which Haydn had emulated in this composition. The composer the ensemble is named after and his Trio in E flat major op. 1, 1 completed this utterly successful chamber music evening in which Clemens Zeilinger, Verena Stourzh and Franz Ortner yet again proved themselves to be sensitive interpreters.


Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, 12 July 2014
The shortest road to the human being
Exceptional opening at the Klassikfestival Mühlviertel in Oberneukirchen

Under the motto „One“ - alluding to his premiere as an artistic director - Clemens Zeilinger presented his well considered first program personally in a charming and humorous way. The concert was opened by TrioVanBeethoven: The piano trio Opus 1 Nr. 1 composed by the 23-year-old eponym was played by violinist Verena Stourzh, cellist Franz Ortner and artistic director Clemens Zeilinger on the piano and filled the hall with grand music, sparking  liveliness and internalized emotional depth. Furthermore the Sonata for piano by the Estonian-Austrian contemporary Arvo Pärt is an Opus 1 Nr.1: Zeilingers wild and restless musical ride was followed by a pure „sound-meditation“. With Beethoven’s „Gassenhauer-Trio“ Opus 11 the audience could enjoy one more variation of the motto „One“...
… As it was said in the opening speech: The shortest road to the human being is not a smile but music.    In that case you were sure to expect a unique, heartily received and applauded evening .


Neues Volksblatt, 12 July 2014
Beethoven – Piano Trios Vol. 1 (Gramola)

Three years ago pianist Clemens Zeilinger founded TrioVanBeethoven as an expression of his attachment to the masters of Viennese Classicism, as well as because of his love for chamber music. His congenial partners on this CD are violinist Verena Stourzh and cellist Erich Oskar Huetter, both likewise experienced chamber musicians, with whom Zeilinger forms an ensemble almost unparalleled with regard to homogeneity and artistic agreement.
With TrioVanBeethoven simply everything is right. Nothing sounds scholarly overloaded or obtrusively sentimental. The recording begins with the popular „Ghost Trio“ op. 70/1 (1808), with the musicians bringing out the contrasts of its striking dynamic spectrum in an exemplary manner. Next, follows piano trio in E flat WoO 38. Composed by 20-year-old Beethoven, it is clearly influenced by Mozart and Haydn and a brilliant test of talent due to its dense piano score. The trio concludes with Beethoven’s first work from opus 1: This composition is equally modelled on Haydn and Mozart, inspiring the trio to interpret it in a particularly airy and delicate manner. Friends of chamber music should not let this CD pass.


Bühne, 7 January 2014
TrioVanBeethoven plays Beethoven
Beethoven, Piano Trios Vol.1, TrioVanBeethoven (Gramola)

It was only in 2011 that pianist Clemens Zeilinger, violinist Verena Stourzh and cellist Erich Oskar Huetter founded TrioVanBeethoven. The far longer experience in chamber music the three young musicians have becomes apparent, however, in a CD with which they debut their recording of all of Beethoven’s piano trios. They masterfully engage in a dialogue in which the instruments sound once confrontational, once coalescing. Be it in the early E-flat major trio, in op. 1/1 or in the ghost trio – with their great sense of style, an ideal balance of sound and the fresh spirit of true musicians this young trio easily wins you over.


Kleine Zeitung Graz, 20 August 2013
Sparkling Subtlety

REIN. Two exquisite string players, violinist Verena Stourzh and cellist Erich Oskar Huetter, contributed to making this well-attended trio-evening in the summer refectory of Rein into an electric musical experience. Significant impulses to the sound came, however, from the verve, impetus and sensitivity of pianist Clemens Zeilinger ... the festival-owned Steinway was made to sound extraordinarily nuanced, colourful and, especially in Beethoven’s Trio op. 1/3 in C-minor, full of polished and rhythmical finesse. In Felix Mendelssohn’s D-minor Trio op. 49 the technical virtuosity was such it made one’s ears sweat. In Franz Liszt’s own trio-adaptation of the piano piece „La vallée d’Obermann“ (new title „Tristia“) the violinist handled the actually „unplayable“ octave passages towards the end with bravura. Busy artistic host and cellist Erich Oskar Huetter offered sonourous richness and thus, difficile dictu, even countered the full richness of the piano. Only too logical therefore that the appreciation of the audience went far beyond pure warm-heartedness.


Kleine Zeitung Graz, 15 December 2012
Gripping and Virtuoso Emotionality

“TrioVanBeethoven” performed with passion and virtuosity at an Advent season concert of the “Styrian Chamber Music Festival” in Rein convent. Pianist Clemens Zeilinger, violinist Verena Stourzh and cellist Erich Oskar Huetter presented a stirring and emotionally moving interpretation of Beethoven’s “Ghost Trio”. Lyric sweeps thrillingly contrasted with parts bursting with power. No less gripping was Schubert’s Trio in E flat major D 929 - agonizingly torn, melancholy and consoling all at once. EMS 


Kronen Zeitung, 24 August 2012
Styrian Chamber Music Festival, Rein: TrioVanBeethoven

...Only one year after it's inception the piano trio has proven itself to be highly in sync. Along with an intuitive and flexible tempo direction of all, the two string players' wonderful chemistry draws one in, their full, soulful and sophisticatedly vibrating tone forms a clear musical intersection....

...Brahms‘ opus 87 brought great moments to close the evening – such as the deeply moving paired octaves of Stourzh and Huetter, cultivated to completion in the „andante con moto“, or the nervously flittering, churning Scherzo.


Kleine Zeitung Graz, 24 August 2012
A „wealthy“ Trio evening

REIN. „Reichtum“ („Wealth“) is this year's festival motto. A trio evening at Stift Rein's refectory hit that note perfectly.
The „TrioVanBeethoven“, comprising the energetic yet never brusque pianist Clemens Zeilinger, violinist Verena Stourzh, known for her work with the Haydn Trio Eisenstadt as well as the cellist Erich Oskar Huetter is but a year old. Their interplay was so marvelously flawless that it was a true joy to behold. An (overly) long piece by the only 13 year old Erich Wolfgang Korngold formed the centerpiece amidst Haydn and Brahms. Encore from the namesake.