I wanted to share with you probably the most unique performance ever recorded (other than Rachmaninoff playing Rachmaninoff): Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. I don’t like to use the term “best” when I describe musicians, for several reasons: first, I am not really an authority, able to determine who the best is. Second, even “the best” are not best at playing their entire repertoire. And finally, music is not a sport where success is objectively measured in seconds or score counts.
By the time you become a recording professional musician you are good, but there is something that is unique (and maybe there is even a little bit of randomness) that makes you into what I call a musical giant. This concerto is performed by four giants of classical music: Herbert Von Karajan – conductor, Sviatoslav Richter – piano, David Oistrakh – violin, and Mstislav Rostropovich – cello. Listen. Enjoy!
How about chamber music, an acquired taste, but very rewarding? A great pleasure to hear the fusion of individual lines into a magnificent musical stew. Mendelssohn’s Octet, Schubert’s opus 163 two cello quintet, Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock for soprano, clarinet and piano (Serkin, Valente and Wright), Mozarts quintets, Brahms sextets and quintets, Dvorak’s opus 96 (subtitled “The American quartet), Brahms piano trios. The list goes on as does the pleasure.
Dear Vitaliy: I have wanted to comment any number of times to thank you for the education and pleasure that you have been providing to me. After listening to Op. 56, I realized it would be churlish for me not to respond. Therefore, thank you, thank you, thank you. I have never heard the Triple Concerto, so both the composition and the performance are revelations to me. In the piano concerto’s, Beethoven used the second movements to great affect. JWN Sullivan characterized them as his spiritual music. I also enjoyed the last three minutes of the third movement, where each of soloists would play, answered each time by the entire orchestra. Best, JohnV
Beethoven isn’t that the guy who wrote the fifth symphony or something? Pretty ancient stuff but still cool in some strange way. Those old guys playing this one looks to be close to dying. Why not listen to something a bit more modern made by someone alive and played by living people for someone not about to die?