An awful lot has happened since I last wrote in this blog, some good, some not so good. On the good front I am starting to like my daughters pony - I finally gave into the nagging and got her one. I did not enjoy having him during the winter with all the cold and the mud, but the last few days it does feel as if spring could finally be round the corner and he is a rather special fellow. I never thought I would say that.
The piece of music I have chosen to chase away the winter blues is the Beethoven Triple Concerto In C. Written in 1803 it remained unperformed for 5 years until it was performed at a summer music festival in Vienna in 1808. Not considered to be one of his greatest concerti, it is still a delightful and easy work to listen to. Beethoven wrote the work for one his pupils Rudolph, Archduke of Austria who had a genuine if limited talent for music, eventually becoming Archbishop Cardinal of Austria, he remained a life long patron and friend of the composers. Written for the unusual combination of two strings (violin and cello) and piano, it is more of a concerto for piano trio accompanied by orchestra. In order to suit his students ability the piano part is not too taxing but in order to make sure they sound like a dazzling band of soloists, the string parts are florid and interwoven around the keyboard.
Most unusually for Beethoven, there is very little conversation between soloists and orchestra, with the soloists having all the fun and the orchestra being relegated to that of a mere accompanist. The best performances of this work are where the egos are removed from the soloists so no-one shines out leaving the music to become the star.
The recording I recommend of this work is performed by three great soloists, Daniel Barenboim (piano) Itzhak Perlman (violin) and Yo Yo Ma (cello) with the Berlin Philharmonic. The recording also contains Beethoven's Choral Fantasy.
Here is part of the very beautiful slow movement for you to listen to on YouTube