Brahms keenly sensed the shadow of Beethoven saying ‘You do not know what it is like, hearing his footsteps constantly behind one’. It was this towering presence that spurred the young Brahms to master his craft and establish his voice. The first piano trio in its original form (1854) quoted from Beethoven, but the revised version has no trace of the quote. This work was revised at the end of the composer’s career. The 2nd and 3rd Piano Trios show that Brahms had already achieved complete maturity and his unique voice was established before the revision of the earlier Trio. No.2 dates from 1880 and No.3 from 1886. The three musicians on this album have enjoyed playing together for many years and this is the first in a series of recordings that will see all the Brahms Piano Trios recorded as well as an album exploring Armenian chamber music. Mikayel Hakhnazaryan is cellist with the Kuss Quartet.