Beethoven, Triple Concerto in C major, op. 56

by richibi

recently trying to familiarize a friend of mine with the idea
of the concerto, something I’d been working at with him for
quite some time, along with the related concepts of the
sonata, the trio, the quartet, quintet, sextet, and, following
those numerical indices, the symphony, when to count the
multiplicity of instruments involved would be asinine, I
asked, what do you think you’d hear if I said a triple concerto

after some polite leeway I answered for him, you’d need
a symphony of course, another word for an orchestra but
perhaps with some pedantry, showcasing in this case not
one, not two, but three soloists in conversation with
the band, another word again for orchestra, this time
connoting perhaps less pedantry, calibrating prestige
as it moves from the bar to the nightclub, to the more
rarefied air of the concert hall

most often a concerto will spotlight one only performer, one
must consider temperaments, finances, compositional ability,
three musical variables instead of the usual, and less demanding
but still impressive, hypothetically virtuosic, one

and indeed I knew of only one triple concerto then, Beethoven’s,
though I’ve since learned of another by Mozart, but that’s another

not only was this a triple concerto, I exhilarated, but one by
Beethoven, Nietzsche’s very superman, an entity of supreme
musical authority

and in my collection I had it performed by Yo-Yo Ma, the superstar
cellist, who needs no other introduction, Emanuel Ax at the piano,
whom I’ve admired for many years, dominating some of the most
difficult piano pieces in the catalogue with elegance and majesty,
often accompanying Ma, and Gil Shaham, an internationally famous
violin virtuoso of the very highest order

I trembled at the very thought, and hoped my friend would also thrill
at the opportunity

we watched

Ma, Ax, and Shaham did their usual unforgettable stuff

Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic, another word for
symphony, that one, with perhaps a nod to a congruence of many
harmonies instead of merely an assemblage of sounds, both here
striving equally however for the undifferentiated sublime

my friend later found me the corresponding online video