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Discovering the Classical String Trio with The Vivaldi Project

Elizabeth Field

Contrary to popular belief, it was the trio of violin, viola and cello, and not the string quartet, that was the dominant chamber music combination of the classical era. With the exception of a handful of works by Mozart and Beethoven, this repertory has been almost completely ignored for the last two centuries. In this conversation, violinist Elizabeth Field tells WETA evening host James Jacobs about the astonishing discoveries she has made in bringing this body of work back to life with her group The Vivaldi Project, who are now halfway through their four-volume recording project exploring previously unknown or rarely heard string trios that includes both well-known composers such as Haydn, Boccherini and J.C. Bach as well as discoveries like Christian Cannabich, whom Mozart lavishly respected and praised, and Carlo Antonio Campioni, one of the favorite composers of Thomas Jefferson, who ordered all of his published music and played it frequently at Monticello.