Beethoven Trio for Piano, Flute and Bassoon, WoO 37

This trio was written around 1786, probably to accomodate the preferences of the von Westerholt-Gysenberg family, to whose daughter Beethoven was teaching piano. The Count played bassoon and his son the flute, this resulting in this particular formation, which is supposed to have somehow limited the expressive range of the composer. On the autograph score the title reads Trio concertant a clavicembalo, flauto, fagotto, composto da Ludovici van Beethoven organista di S. S. Electeur de Cologne. This note divulges the place of composition and also reveals that Beethoven thought of himself primarily as an organist, not as a composer. And one notes also that "clavicembalo". While Beethoven shows some skill in his handling of forms here, he was still finding his way in composition and evolving his style. Indeed, the piece hardly shows the mature traits of the great composer to come. It may have served the abilities and even the tastes of the von Westerholt family, but likely will not offer more than modest rewards to most listeners. The work was published posthumously, in 1888, as Beethoven suppressed the score throughout his life.
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