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Thread: Beethoven Triple Concerto

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    Default Beethoven Triple Concerto

    It has been my experience that the Triple Concerto divides opinion. So, Beethoven Triple Concerto, yea or nay? Why? If yea, recommend a recording.
    Last edited by Gray Bean; Jun-02-2020 at 22:25.

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    It contains flashes of genius, but is mostly dull. I prefer the Brahms Double Concerto by far, and the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto.

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    It's a fine work. My favored version comes from the fantastic line-up of Richter, Oistrakh, Rostropovich, and Karajan. It's discmate is the Brahms "Double" minus Richter with Szell conducting. If you want these two works, it doesn't get better than this Warner Classics disc (originally on EMI).

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    It's a fine work. My favored version comes from the fantastic line-up of Richter, Oistrakh, Rostropovich, and Karajan. It's discmate is the Brahms "Double" minus Richter with Szell conducting. If you want these two works, it doesn't get better than this Warner Classics disc (originally on EMI).
    Agreed. I don't like the Triple as much as the Brahms Double (to which it will be inevitably paired forever and ever) but it is still a good work. Maybe I will find more love for it in time.

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    Senior Member Brahmsian Colors's Avatar
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    I prefer the sounds of the Triple to all other works by Beethoven. My preferred versions are
    Szeryng/Starker/Arrau, who give beautiful performances with Inbal/New Philharmonia...and Anda/Schneiderhan/Fournier with Fricsay/Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.
    Last edited by Brahmsian Colors; Jun-03-2020 at 02:08.

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    The Triple is a favorite of mine. As someone already mentioned, Karajan made a great recording with the USSR all-stars (Oistrakh/Rostropovich/Richter), but so is his other recording of it with the younger generation (Anne-Sophie Mutter/Yo-Yo Ma/Mark Zeltser). The finest and warmest rendition in my opinion, is Isaac Stern/Leonard Rose/Eugene Istomin/Eugene Ormandy.
    Last edited by Coach G; Jun-03-2020 at 00:28.

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Bean View Post
    It has been my experience that the Triple Concerto divides opinion. So, Beethoven Triple Concerto, yea or nay? Why? If yea, recommend a recording.
    Not a favorite Beethoven work, but I do enjoy it now and then. This is my preferred recording:

    triple.jpg

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    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    I remember talking to my dad once about how Beethoven has the cello lead and the other soloists follow rather pedantically, making it sound more like a cello concerto with piano/violin obbligatos, "don't you feel Beethoven is overdoing it a little, without being as successful as his other concertos, in terms of instrumentation?" He replied, "the real beauty of this work lies in the final movement, where the three instruments fight each other as if were locked in an arena, in the most Beethovenian way. It's pure ecstasy."

    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Jun-03-2020 at 02:35.

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    I commented on this third movement in another thread. The three soloists take turns seeming to improvising in a spur of the moment. My opinion is I think the work is not well known within TC. I find it hard to believe it cannot even get ranked in one of the surveys, and one reason is you have to know the work. A different kind of work by Beethoven. I would agree with your father on the third movement and I like to take it out for a test drive (3rd movement) when I hear a new one, but not many can equal the old ones mention above.

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    It has been my experience that the Triple Concerto divides opinion. So, Beethoven Triple Concerto, yea or nay? Why? If yea, recommend a recording.
    Every piece of music divides people.

    Anyway: Richter, Oistrakh, Rostropovich, and Karajan is hard to beat.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Dull as cardboard - astonishing as this is the time of his life where he composed his two for me outstanding symphonies (5 and 6), and his magnificent violin concerto. YMMV and indeed for many it does.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    I certainly don't hate it, but I've never found that much in it either. I react similarly to the Brahms Double Concerto, despite loving his Violin Concerto to distraction, and though I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Mozart nut his Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola is a piece I like rather than love (though as it happens I find its usually lower-rated companion for winds quite delightful).
    Last edited by Animal the Drummer; Jun-03-2020 at 08:49.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Dull as cardboard - astonishing as this is the time of his life where he composed his two for me outstanding symphonies (5 and 6), and his magnificent violin concerto. YMMV and indeed for many it does.
    Not really surprising that Beethoven can compose something not that intense and with his stamp on it. I enjoy it for what it is and I am willing to bet that some novice listeners who are unable to get into classical music would warm to this as "easy" to like, whether as background or what not. We already know Beethoven limits the music to the level of the performers he had in mind. No matter as Beethoven has a way of putting the "midas" touch on any work he composed. Well, maybe not so but at least can be practical.

    I'd be interested in top level performers on record as trashing the Triple concerto......then again maybe they keep their opinions to themselves for a reason.
    Last edited by Bigbang; Jun-03-2020 at 15:25.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Dull as cardboard -astonishing as this is the time of his life where he composed his two for me outstanding symphonies (5 and 6), and his magnificent violin concerto. YMMV and indeed for many it does.
    Astonishing then that so many major artists have taken the trouble to record it.

    Richter / Oistrakh (x2) / Rostropovich
    Stern / Rose / Istomin
    Serkin / Panas / Laredo
    Fournier / Anda / Schneiderahn
    Argerich / Capucon / Maisky
    to name but a few
    Last edited by DavidA; Jun-03-2020 at 16:05.

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    I have always seen it as being Beethoven in a bit of a lighter vein. Part of the charm is the novelty.

    It is curious that Richter seems to have dismissed his own performance on a recording that has garnered some lavish praise. (I don't have that one.)
    Last edited by JAS; Jun-03-2020 at 16:15.

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