Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) Concerto in C major Op. 56
(Triple Concerto) – Urtext based on the new Complete Edition (G. Henle Verlag) edited by Bernard van der Linde [vl,vc,pno,orch] duration: 35'
solos: pno.vl.vc – 126.96.36.199. – 188.8.131.52. – timp – str
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|3. Rondo alla Polacca|
Beethoven’s Triple Concerto was presented in two private performances as early as spring 1804 for the Prince in the music room of the Palais Lobkowitz in Vienna, together with the third Symphony op. 55. First, they gave Beethoven an opportunity to make improvements on the basis of his aural impressions long before the works appeared in print. Second, his artloving benefactor had a chance to become acquainted with two of Beethoven’s very latest works and to form an opinion and an appreciation of their merits. It need hardly be mentioned that both pieces were dedicated to Prince Lobkowitz. The soloists at these initial private performances of the Triple Concerto were the composer (piano) and two members of the Prince’s orchestra, Anton Wranitzky (violin) and Anton Kraft (violoncello).
According to Kinsky-Halm, the first public performance did not take place until four years later, when it was given at a concert in the Vienna Augarten in May 1808. Although the report in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, no. 39 (23 June 1808), does not mention the soloists, it may be assumed that they were Marie Bigot (piano), Carl August Seidler (violin) and Anton Kraft (violoncello).
As Beethoven’s holograph of the Triple Concerto has never resurfaced, the volume of the Complete Edition (Beethoven Werke, series III, volume 1), on which text the present score is based on, had to be edited on the basis of the first edition (Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie, Vienna, 1807). This edition is a set of printed parts (solo parts and all orchestral parts) bearing the plate and publisher’s catalogue number 519. We have also consulted a manuscript copy of the solo piano part with corrections in Beethoven’s hand, as it bears the number 519 on the title page and thus almost certainly served as a master copy for the engraving. The corrections in the plates which can be identified in the original print, confirm that the first print represents a later stage in proofs of the compositional process of this work. Accordingly, despite the absence of a holograph orchestral score, the first edition has great importance as an authentic source. In recent years a handwritten copy of the solo violin part, with the catalogue number 519 on the title page and with numerous corrections in Beethoven’s hand, has resurfaced and is now in the possession of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Vienna). This manuscript with Beethoven’s emendations doubtless served as an engraver’s copy for the original.
The many fingering indications, especially in the violoncello part, derive from the first edition. Signs enclosed in parentheses are lacking in the sources.
Munich, Spring 1999