Masterclass: Tai Murray on Beethoven’s ‘Triple’ Concerto Part 1


In the first of two articles, violinist Tai Murray discusses individuality, balance and tempo in the lengthy first movement of the op.56 concerto for piano, cello and violin

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Whenever Beethoven’s ‘Triple’ Concerto starts, I feel a great sense of anticipation. The way the tutti builds is so exciting! In bar 33 I’ve written the orchestral arpeggio into my part in a little pyramid, because I just love it. Sometimes in long tuttis my hands get cold, but that never happens in this piece. There’s something about the music: it never really stops, despite the massive rests. Beethoven winds the individual voices of the three soloists into music that is always flowing onwards: in bar 77 the orchestra makes way for the sudden, strange transition to the cello solo; then, after a few bars, it is as though the pianist says, ‘I think I’ll play’, and in bar 85 the violinist decides to follow. They are constantly diving in and out of one long slipstream, each in their own way, and that is part of what makes this piece so special.

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