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For Beethoven, a posthumous debut

February 28, 2009|Associated Press

Nearly 182 years after Beethoven's death, three musicians are getting ready to give the first known performance of a lost piano trio by the immortal composer.

The 12-minute piece of the Trio in E flat will be performed in Chicago Sunday by the Paris-based Beethoven Project Trio, along with the North American premieres of two other once-lost Beethoven pieces: a piano trio in D major and a second in E flat, Opus 63.

According to Beethoven scholar James F. Green, the main work on the program is an arrangement Beethoven made of an early trio he had written about 1792 for violin, viola and cello. Beethoven set out to arrange it for piano, violin and cello sometime between 1800 and 1805, but completed only the first movement.

The existing manuscript in Beethoven's hand disappeared for more than 100 years before it was rediscovered and published by German musicologist Willy Hess in 1920.

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