Wednesday, 12 November 2008

193. Ludwig van Beethoven - Triple Concerto (1805)


Title: Beethoven - Triple Concerto, Brahms - Double Concerto
Performers: David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sviatoslav Richter
Director: Herbert von Karajan
Year: 1969
Length: 37 minutes


This is not only a great piece of music by Beethoven, it is also a great recording which joins together four absolute legends for one of the best recordings of this work. I was lucky enough to see Richter about 6 months before he died but I won't get to see any of the other ones, so I have to listen to them in stuff like this great recording.

Beethoven's Triple concerto goes back to the idea of Concerti Grossi, concertos for several soloists, in this case for the piano, cello and violin, and the distribution of the parts is amazingly well balanced, for the orchestra and each of the different soloists. Listening to this is a joy, the interplay between the several soloists and the orchestra is amazing.

All the interpretations are, as you would imagine, beyond reproach and all of them give real oomph to this work. The triple concerto needs this kind of players to come off as exciting as it is on the page, otherwise it might feel a little flat, fortunately here it feels anything but flat.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Beethoven's early biographer Anton Schindler claimed that the Triple Concerto was written for Beethoven's royal pupil, the Archduke Rudolf (Rudolf von Habsburg-Lothringen). The Archduke, who became an accomplished pianist and composer under Beethoven's tutelage, was only in his mid-teens at this time, and it seems plausible that Beethoven's strategy was to create a showy but relatively easy piano part that would be backed up by two more mature and skilled soloists. However, there is no record of Rudolf ever performing the work -- it was not publicly premiered until 1808, at the summer "Augarten" concerts in Vienna – and when it came to be published, the concerto bore a dedication to a different patron: Prince Leibkowitz.

Part one of of the concerto, Oistrakh, Rostropovich, Richter but no Karajan :(

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