Masterclass: Tai Murray on Beethoven’s ‘Triple’ Concerto Part 2


Violinist Tai Murray discusses balance and colour in the first movement of the op.56 work for violin, cello, piano and orchestra, in the second of two articles

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Every fingering and bowing that I choose, whatever I play, is guided by my aim to achieve a particular colour and emotional impact, and to communicate my understanding of each phrase. In this piece, when there are three soloists and an orchestra to bring together, of course, it’s really the conductor who has the final say. Whatever the soloists decide as a trio in rehearsals, and however many discussions you may have about doing things in a certain way, in the end much of it – in terms of timing, if not colour – will be out of your control. For certain types of personality this might be quite frustrating, but I enjoy going with the flow, so it doesn’t bother me at all!

The choices that I do make are strongly influenced by the fact that Beethoven did not write this piece for a modern piano, as I discussed in the first part of this article. With the less sustained, thinner sound of the fortepiano in mind, I tend to bow more lightly, and to crawl more with the left hand, to avoid jumping around the fingerboard. In bar 363, for example, I use a super-simple fingering, and I split the bowing to enable me to stay in the lighter upper part of the bow.

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