CD A0206: New Chamber Music Discoveries

New Chamber Music Discoveries by Trio B3 Classic
Works by Adalbert Gyrowetz, Emil Hartman, Paul Juon & Robert Kahn.

CD Cover: New Chamber Music Discoveries by Trio B3 ClassicSince its formation in 1992 this trio of clarinet, cello and piano is one of the few stable, consolidated and well-known ensembles of this kind in Europe, and a reference in the present day musical panorama in Spain. “B3 Classic” draw attention to the history of the chamber music repertoire for these three instruments (they undertake valuable and creative investigative work) as well as involving itself in the more contemporary creation. Such fruits can be seen in this second 'Warner Music Spain' CD - which features the world premiere recording of the grand trio by the formerly important classical composer Adelbert Gyrowetz, and beautiful, yet hardly known, works by Emil Hartmann (Serenade), Paul Juon (Miniatures) and Robert Kahn (Serenade).

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Track Listing & Audio Samples

Grand Trio Concertante. Op. 43 Adalbert Gyrowetz (1763-1850)
  1 I Allegro Spirito 14:34
  2 II Andante Cantabile 06:19
  3 III Rondo 06:12
Serenade. Op. 24 Emil Hartmann (1836-1898)
  4 I Idylle 07:06
  5 II Romance 05:34
  6 III Rondo. Finale 07:09
Trio Miniaturen. Op. 18 No. 24 Paul Juon (1872-1940)
  7 Rêverie 05:11
  8 Humoreske 02:10
  9 Elegie 02:54
  10 Danse phantastique 02:14
Serenade. Op. 73 Robert Kahn (1865-1951)
  11 Andante Sostenuto 13:16
Total 72:36

CD Sleeve Notes and Credits

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Adalbert Gyrowetz (1763-1850): GrandTrio Concertante. Op. 43

Adalbert Gyrowetz, also known as Vojcech Jirovec, was born in Budweis — currently Budejovice, in 1763 and died in Vienna in 1850. His father was his first music teacher, and he later extended his musical training in Vienna and Italy. He arrived in the capital of the empire around 1785, and there met Haydn and Mozart. In Italy, he was a pupil of Paisiello. Then he moved to Paris, where to his surprise, he saw printed one of his symphonies as if composed by Haydn. Then he traveled to London. He served as composer and chapel master for the court theatre from 1804 to 1831.A well-cultured man who studied Philosophy and spoke several languages, he was a remarkable and prolific creator of different musical genres. He also won a reputation as a conductor. He composed over thirty operas, about forty ballets, nineteen masses, forty symphonies, sixty string quartets, thirty trios and forty sonatas for violin and piano. One of his choral works, Farewell, was attributed to Haydn for many years. He met and befriended Beethoven, and was one of the men who carried the German master’s coffin to his grave on the day of his funeral.

Gyrowetz gave his last concert in 1844, and four years later he published an autobiography. But his prestige had faded away long ago, and he died alone and in poverty. As a footnote, we could say that Felice Romani wrote for him the libretto for his opera Il finto Stalislao, which premiered in 1818, the very same script on which Verdi relied for his work Un giorno di regno, premiered in 1840.

The GrandTrio Concertante op. 43 dates from about 1805, and it is an outstanding example of Gyrowetz’s aesthetic world, between two of the most remarkable composers he met in his lifetime: Mozart and Beethoven. This composition, published in Vienna by the prestigious publisher Artaria and dedicated to Madame Josephe Aurnhammer,is contemporary with two Beethovian masterpieces. The talented musician from Bonn was then polishing up his piano sonata Apassionata. In 1805 he premiered the Symphony n. 3, Eroica, a crucial work in music history. A crossover between classicism and romanticism, the Eroica crowns an era and inaugurates another.

In the first movement of Gyrowetz’s Grand Trio Concertante, op 43 (Allegro spirito), we can see the tonality of the piece stated immediately. The main themes, are rapidly set out, and developed in the skilful way by a composer familiar with the classical pattern. Everything flows logically in this fragment, an example of the traditional use of the sonata form. The three instruments are of the same importance —hence the term concertante— and despite this being an unmistakable chamber piece, it shows a certain symphonic ambition, highlighted by the romantic moments that pepper the movement.There is also a place for counterpoint episodes, fleeting but surely excellent, as usual by this composer. The debt to the classical style is obvious, but so is the affection for Beethoven.

The second movement (Andante cantabile) is gentle, exquisite and elegant. Melody and concertante form clearly are predominant predominate in this fragment, and its unmistakable classicism shows Beethovian, even preromantic traits, as we perceive in the initial movement. A brilliant and lively Rondo becomes an ideal finale for this optimistic and pleasant work in which the melodic element predominates over harmonic originality. In a sense, this is a fairly conventional composition, albeit with some surprises that make it into an unpredictable piece. Structural clarity prevails, as befits a classic creator as Gyrowetz.

Emil Hartmann (1836-1898): Serenade. Op. 24

Emil Hartmann was born in a family of musicians in Copenhagen in 1836, and died in the same city in 1898. The son and grandson of organists, his father was the famous Johan Peter Emilius Hartman (Copenhagen, 1805-1900). Along with Gade, he is known as the father of the Danish romantic music. He studied with his father and with Gade, and continued the family tradition as a church musician. He served as an organist from 1861 to 1873, but he finally was devoted to secular music. He became a well-known composer of performing works such as ballets, operas and singspiel, and also composed symphonic, choral, chamber and instrumental works. Like his father and his other teacher, Gade, he was a leading figure in the Danish musical scene, and as such, he influenced Grieg at the time this Norwegian composer was studying in Denmark.

The links of Emil Hartmann with the German musical world, because of background and musical affections, and even due to family origins, is illustrated in his style, with a noticeable Brahmsian influence. An outstanding example of this is his Serenade, in 1877 —written in the same year that Brahms premiered his masterly Symphony No.2, and one of his major works, the Concerto for violin and orchestra. It was the golden age of Romanticism, the time when one of the great romantic operas, Samson et Dalila, by Saint-Saëns, along with the most popular ballet in history and a romantic milestone, Swan Lake, were premiered. Besides, Wagner was composing his Parsifal, and Bruckner was polishing his Symphony n. 5, a summit of the Romantic symphonism. Hartmann never intended to be unique or go beyond his time. His music is that of a genuine romantic composer, faithful to the aesthetic of the so called Brahms’s romantic classicism. His Serenade leaves no room for doubt. It shows the typical Romantic warmth and at the same time a great care for form, making the classic tradition and the respect for inherited structures go hand in hand with the typical subjectivity in the period.

The first movement, Idylle, is of serene beauty. This is a very poetic and lyrical piece beginning with a very contemplative, beautiful and simple melody performed by the clarinet and the cello with piano accompaniment. Later, a more lively and contrasting theme appears, yet, the serene atmosphere prevails. There are, nevertheless, moments of agitation and restrained drama in a style clearly in debt to Brahms.

The central movement, Romance, has a beautiful melody introduced by the cello with piano accompaniment. The great expressive power of this melody is enriched with the clarinet, with the cello keeping its prominence. In fact, both instruments engage in a passionate dialogue with a varied piano accompaniment that does not seem to accept completely this accompanying role. This acquires greater significance in the central section, with a distinctive contrasting character.

The final Rondo, melancholic despite the fast tempo, echoes the spirit of Schumann’s chamber works. Its brilliant and demanding writing makes it into a particularly appealing piece.

Paul Juon (1872-1940): Trio Miniaturen. Op. 18 No. 24

Paul Juon, also known as the “Russian Brahms” and considered one of the links between Tchaikovsky’s romantic and cosmopolitan aesthetic and Stravinsky’s modernity, was born Pavel  Fedorovich Yuon in Moscow in 1872. His family was originally from Switzerland, but he always felt Russian, and was greatly influenced by the music of his native country. His more personal works show a unique confluence between Slavic music and German Romanticism. In fact, he had a Russian and German background. He conducted his first musical studies in Russia. There he attended the conservatory and the German School.Among his teachers were Anton Arensky and Sergei Tanayev, two significant composers who shaped his personal style in regard to the culture and popular elements of Russian music, on the one hand, and the Romantic classicism represented by Brahms on the other. After graduating in Moscow he moved to Berlin to extend his musical studies. In 1896, once he had finished his education, he took up a teacher position at the Conservatory of Baku, in Azerbaijan. After only a year he returned to Berlin. He taught at the Hochschule für Musik from 1906 to 1934.When he retired, he lived in Vevey, Switzerland, the original country of his family, where he died in 1940.

Juon’s early production presents unmistakably Russian elements. On reaching maturity, his cosmopolitan style developed into a final creative period. He combined Russian and German features within an essentially Brahmsian romantic aesthetic with adding a certain modernity from Stravinsky’s style. Yet, Juon, a firm romantic, was less audacious, less unique than Stravinsky. Notice that his Trio Miniaturen dates from 1918, the same year that Stravinsky completed The Wedding and The Soldier’s Tale. It was a time of a great stylistic diversity, a fascinating period with artists at the peak of their careers living contemporarily, from Puccini —who premiered his masterly Triptych that same year—to Anton Webern, who at the time was concluding his Four Songs, op. 13. This diversity cannot make us believe that those “less original” composers who remained faithful to the romantic tradition out of their artistic personalities or their convictions were mere followers. Brahms himself proved highly original from a very traditional approach, and he was considered as such by none other than Schönberg in a famous article titled precisely Brahms the progressive.

The Trio Miniaturen begins with a Rêverie, of more elegiac than dreamy character, full of an intense expressivity very close to Rachmaninov’s. This is the most important, and by far, the longest fragment in this composition. This undeniably romantic music is strongly influenced by Tchaikovsky. It is a fine example of the best Juon. At the end of this Rêverie, which leaves a deep impression on the listener, the lively dance of Slavic accent, Humoreske, bursts forth. It gives way to the Elegie, which returns to the original atmosphere. A sad and evocative melody takes over, clearly stating Juon’s musical preferences. The piece concludes with the Danse phantastique, a smooth dance in ternary rhythm which is more an evocation of a waltz than a waltz itself. Like the Humoreske, the dance displays a contrasting central section, in the way of the classic minuets or the romantic scherzi.

Robert Kahn (1865-1951): Serenade. Op. 73

Robert Kahn was born in Mannheim in 1865 and died in Biddenden in 1951.He studied at the Hochsschule für Musik in Berlin and then extended his music education with Joseph Rheinberger for a year. In Vienna he met Joseph Joachim, whom he befriended, and Johannes Brahms. When the latter listened to the works of the young Kahn, who then was little more than twenty years old, he volunteered to be his teacher, but Kahn declined the offer, eager to preserve his uniqueness. We will surely appreciate in his Serenade, in 1923, that Brahms strongly influenced Kahn’s music.

As with Juon while composing his Trio Miniaturen, the music scene at the time Kahn was writing his Serenade was extraordinarily diverse. Hindemith ended his cycle Das Marienleben, and Bartok completed his Dance Suite. That year Schoenberg delivered two masterpieces written in a new language but clearly linked to tradition by being, in his view, a logical consequence of its development: Five piano pieces, op. 23 and Serenade, op. 24.The Neoclassicism was making its way with brilliant compositions such as Stravinsky’s Octet, but some other composers like Kahn became more involved in the romantic tradition. Kahn was not alone. In 1923 Fauré completed his Piano Trio and began to write his String Quartet.

Kahn’s Serenade begins with a slow, nostalgic melody which becomes brighter and calmer to lead to a more lively and dramatic episode. Eventually, the melody returns to the initial atmosphere, and new contrasting episodes enrich the piece till its conclusion.

Trio “B3 Classic”
Clarinet, Cello and Piano

Since 1992, the Trio B3 Classic has developed one of the most interesting careers in the European musical field of chamber music.

In 1997 B3 Classic was awarded a Paris International Chamber Music ‘Grand Prix Pierre Lantier’. Since then they have performed regularly in concert halls in Spain, France and Great Britain.

Some outstanding performances have included a concert tour of Great Britain with an invitation in the prestigious Cheltenham International Music Festival (in a special programme of concerts recorded by the BBC) or a series of four concerts for the Spanish Public Television (tve) called ‘The Changes of century in Chamber Music’.

In the field of modern music, the trio encourages contemporary creation. Some of the international or national premieres by them include works by John McCabe, Jorge García del Valle, Martín Zalba, Rodney Newton and Jonathan FeBland.

They have also indulged in activities of investigation, which have resulted in the recuperation and recording of the two trio works by Robert Kahn (one featured here), the Trio Op.43 of Gyrowetz (also featured on this CD), and performances of trios by Ries, Archduke Rudolf, Anton Eberl, etc.

Some of the trio’s other most noteworthy recordings include several live broadcasts for rne Radio Clásica (the Spanish national radio),Köln Rundfunk, the recording of the original soundtrack of the film ‘Dr.Vesalius’ for the London Film Institute (winner of several international awards), and some audiovisual recordings for the Spanish television ‘Tele Cinco’. In addition, the trio has recorded the trio‘ Autumn Journeys’ by M.Zalba for the record label Arlu, and the Beethoven Op. 11 trio for the Festival of Nice. Their own cd‘B3 Classic Live’ features a non-edited live performance of works of Zalba, Beethoven and d’Indy. Recently, the CD for Warner Music prior to this present release – ‘Chamber Music Discoveries – featuring works of Kahn (op.45), FeBland, Newton, Grundman and Johnstone has virtually sold out in two months, and reached the ‘top 10’ in the Spanish iTunes charts (Classical Albums).

The Non Profit Music Foundation

The Non Profit Music Foundation is born as an answer to the presence of classical music today in the world, the gradual decrease of pupils at the highest levels in music schools, the lack of motivation from the audience to assist to performances of classical music (chamber music can be an example) and the loss of sensibility towards social and humanitarian action. The Non Profit Music Foundation believes that is possible to create initiatives that help to solve these deficiencies in our society and, even, that these initiatives can work in a combined way. The activities of the Non Profit Music Foundation then, will be directed towards strengthening and divulging music culture and, at the same time, sensitizing people to solidarity and obtain funds for social and humanitarian actions. The Non Profit Music Foundation maintains too a recording activity in order to divulge contemporary music, helping new creators  to be better known and seeking the awareness of humanitarian causes. The record label gives all the profits made by the sell of its publications to Non Government Organizations that select the creators, in a transparent way due all the accounts are audited by the same NGOs. If you are interested in the biographic details and projects of B3 Classic, the Non Profit Music Orchestra or the Non Profit Music Foundation, you can visit:  and


Produced by: Non Profit Music
Project Director: Jorge Grundman
Project Assistant: Clara Alcaraz
Project Co-ordinators: Promosapiens
Musical Production: Javier Monteverde
Production Assistant: Nicolás Domínguez
Edition, mixing and mastering: Cezanne Producciones, Javier Monteverde
Contracting: Prisma Eventos 2002
Date and Place of Recording:  28th, 29th & 31st January 2008 in the studios of 'Cezanne Producciones', Las Rozas (Madrid).
Graphic Design:  Valentín Iglesias
Texts: Josep Pascual
English translations: Caridad Baena

The Musicians

Clarinete: Joan Borrás
Violonchelo: David Johnstone
Piano: Joanjo Albinyana

Further Information


Iván Simón: for the most original cover illustration and artwork
Javier Monteverde: for continuing to be such an artist in the recording studio!
Jorge Grundman: for truly understanding the mentality and‘psyche’ of ‘B3 Classic’, and for sharing that same type of enthusiasm, helping to launch worthwhile artistic projects.
Isabel Morales: for encouraging the work of the trio from
Spanish Television ‘Tele Cinco’ in the programme ‘Nocturnos’.
José Manuel Rausell: for support to the trio as Principal of the La Rioja Music Conservatoire.

Finally – Sara, Marisa and Rosa: the three wonderful supporting family partners of the trio, who all contain an angelic patience!

Album Information

Instruments: Trio: Clarinet, Cello & Piano
Genre: Classical Contemporary
Format: Audio CD
Our Ref: A0206 (Johnstone Music Cat. No. JM 52 CD)
MCPS: 5144282525 (WE 833 LC4281)
Label: Warner Music Spain
Year: 2008
Origin: Spain

Artist Information & Contact Details

'B3 Classic'
Clarinet, Cello and Piano Trio

Clarinet: Joan Borràs
Violoncello: David Johnstone
Piano: Joanjo Albinyana

Trio “B3 Classic”Since its formation in 1992 this trio of clarinet, cello and piano is one of the few stable, consolidated and well-known ensembles of this kind in Europe, and a reference in the present day musical panorama in Spain. “B3 Classic” draw attention to the history of the chamber music repertoire for these three instruments (they undertake valuable and creative investigative work) as well as involving itself in the more contemporary creation. The personal style of B3 Classic lays emphasis on an unusual sound combination by combining the piano with a string instrument (the cello) and a wind instrument (the clarinet), and the group actively promote the full history, largely yet unknown, of the chamber music repertoire for these three instruments. The group initially received the support and guidance of international figures such as Boris Bermann, Jesse Levine, Carles Riera and John McCabe CBE.  In 1995 they participated in a recording with the ‘La Caixa’ Foundation and the record label ‘Opus 111’ of Paris. Since then they have given regular concerts across all Spain and in other countries of the European Union. 

B3 Classic received important success in the International Music Competition ‘Pierre Lantier’ of Paris where they were awarded a Grand Prix in 1997. In 1998 they visit Great Britain for the first time where concerts included the Cheltenham International Music Festival, and they also give the world premiere of the Suite “The World of the Sea” of Rodney Newton in London. In Spain they have given many national and international premieres including the ‘Sonata for Trio’ by John McCabe C.B.E., the trio ‘Autumn Journeys’ and ‘Six Pieces’ by Martín Zalba, works by Jonathan FeBland, Rodney Newton, Enrique Aragon, Jorge Grundman Isla, Jorge Garcia del Valle etc. and have enthusiastically recuperated historically important trios by E. Hartmann, P. Juon, A. Eberl, A. Gyrowetz, Ries, and Archduke Rudolf.  

 B3 Classic have recorded for Warner Music Spain, Spanish National Radio (RNE Radio Clásica), Nice International Festival (France), The London Film Institute, Köln Rundfunk, Association Mozart Productions (France), Arlu Discos (Madrid), Julian Roberts Productions (Great Britain), four programmes of the series ‘Nocturnos’ for television ‘Tele 5’ (Spain), and a series of four concerts ‘The change of century in chamber music’ for National Spanish Television (TVE). 

Their versatility shows itself in original compositions by each member and high quality transcriptions made collectively by the artists of the group – examples include works such as ‘Trio Concertante’ on West Side Story (Bernstein/B3 Classic) or ‘Popular Miniature Suite’ on ‘Porgy and Bess’ (Gershwin/B3 Classic). They are also open to other musical fields – for example, their participation in the festival “Actual” of Logroño (Spain), their collective work together on the CD ‘Entre Dos Mundos’ with the ‘Swinging Strings’ of the Basque National Orchestra (San Sebastian), or the concerts with the multi-stylistic guitarist Gualberto of Seville. Their notable career together has brought them accolades such as what the prestigious Spanish classical music magazine Ritmo said of them: “Not only do they enjoy making music together but the artistic results are brilliant”.  

The trio ‘B3 Classic’ offers the public an ample repertoire: single performances featuring the outstanding works of the repertoire, special ‘theme’ concerts, special composer dedication concerts, well-conceived concerts put together as a series or cycle, educational concerts (in Spanish and English), etc.

Contact Details B3 Classic
Contact Address Clarinet, Cello and Piano Trio ‘B3 Classic’
P.O. Box 7003
31080 Pamplona
Telephone (0034) 629.530.533 / (0034)
Fax (0034) 948 – 35.18.69
E-mail  (English) (Spanish) (Catalan)
Web site

Recordings by Trio B3 Classic

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Recordings by David Johnstone (of B3 Classic Trio)

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Sheet Music by David Johnstone

Creighton's Collection publishes David Johnstone compositions
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The Scores shown above are some of special interest to Cellists