Triple Concerto by Ludwig van Beethoven


'''Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C major''', Op. 56, more commonly known as the '''''Triple Concerto''''', was composed in 1803 and later published in 1804 under Breitkopf & Härtel. The choice of the three solo instruments effectively makes this a concerto for piano trio, and it is the only concerto Beethoven ever completed for more than one solo instrument. A typical performance takes approximately thirty-seven minutes.

Beethoven's early biographer Anton Schindler claimed that the ''Triple Concerto'' was written for Beethoven's royal pupil, the Archduke Rudolf of Austria.Steinberg, Michael (1996), ''The Concerto: A Listener's Guide'', Oxford University Press, p. 76. The Archduke, who became an accomplished pianist and composer under Beethoven's tutelage, was only in his mid-teens at this time, and it seems plausible that Beethoven's strategy was to create a showy but relatively easy piano part that would be backed up by two more mature and skilled soloists. However, there is no record of Rudolf ever performing the work--it was not publicly premiered until 1808, at the summer "Augarten" concerts in Vienna--and when it came to be published, the concerto bore a dedication to a different patron: Prince Lobkowitz (Franz Joseph Maximilian Fürst von Lobkowitz).