The widespread interest both in the technical capabilities of solo instruments and in the symphony, whose formal outlines became established toward the end of the 18th century, accounts for the popularity at that time of "concertante symphonies" in which several solo instruments (strings, wind) combined to oppose the orchestra. Despite the popularity, Beethoven was correct when he wrote about his Triple Concerto "that a concertante with these three solo parts is something new." The novelty lay in the usage of this connection with the piano. The difference between the piano's method of tone production and that of the other instruments alongside the piano's "mechanics" resulted in tonal problems. These problems arose both within the solo trio and in its relationship to the orchestra. Beethoven, who was interested throughout his whole career in experiments to extend the scope of instrumental music, here combined the styles of chamber music and of concertante symphonic writing.
Ferenc Fricsay conducting the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven's Triple Concerto in C major, Op. 56 with Anda, Schneiderhan, and Fournier.
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Ferenc Fricsay, conductor
Geza Anda, piano
Wolfgang Schneiderhan, violin
Pierre Fournier, cello
Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Concerto for Piano, Violin, Cello and Orchestra in C major, Op. 56
2. Largo (attacca)
3. Rondo alla polacca