What energy! The “Triple Concerto” opens with incancatory power.
The result is—by a staggering margin—the finest performance and recording of this masterpiece that has ever been put down. Period. I should probably end this review now.
The Van Baerle Trio is again superior in playing and sound refinement, with the Residentie Orkest under Jan Willem de Vriend as congenial orchestral partner.
The Van Baerle Trio’s performance is highly attractive, artistically attentive to the details in Beethoven’s skilful arrangement, and while each of these three musicians plays superbly pianist Hannes Minnaar’s touch is the grease in the machine that makes it all run so delightfully effortlessly.
Music web International, 14-7-2020
The musicians pair an exceptional musicality with a magnificent interplay, which is powered by an élan, an eagerness and a playing instinct that you don't come across very often to this extent.
Het Parool, 11-5-2020
With the 'Triple Concerto' and the 'Piano Trio, Op. 38 'The latest CD by the Van Baerle Trio ends a series of five Beethoven albums.
Van Baerle Trio is fully committed to pure fun.
De Gelderlander, 15-4-2020
This last album is just as much an asset as any previous one in this phenomenal series.
Opus Klassiek, 13-4-2020
★★★★ The Triple Concert is sometimes toiling and wrinkling, but not with the delicate Van Baerle.
De Volkskrant, 09-4-2020
Van Baerle Trio plays all the piano trios of Beethoven in three years - now what?
De Volkskrant, 08-4-2020
With this fifth movement from Beethoven's Piano Trio series, Collected Works for Piano Trio op. 56 (Triple concerto) and op. 38, completes this special edition. Bravo!
In 1799, after having made a name for himself with major compositions in the genres of the piano trio, piano sonata, violin sonata, and string quartet, but before finishing his first symphony, Beethoven wrote a work for mixed strings and winds. This piece, the Septet op. 20, would become one of his most popular compositions, with a large number of arrangements, including the one for piano trio on this disc. The form is clearly related to the divertimenti by Mozart, with six movements that alternate fast and slow tempos.
The appearance of the Triple Concerto on the final disc in this series might surprise some listeners, as it is the only work with orchestra, but this composition has more in common with chamber music than with concertos. It was written in 1805, and its instrumentation is highly exceptional if not unprecedented altogether.
In tone, it is rather a stark contrast from Beethoven’s other concertos, which generally contain easily recognisable melodies and strikingly rhythmic material, neither of which are found to a great degree here. Furthermore, the opposition of soloist and orchestra, a central aspect of many solo works with orchestra written up until that point that was the engine behind much of the drama, is also absent, with the orchestra taking a largely subservient role to the three soloists. So, although the work was called a ‘Grand Concerto Concertant’ when it was published, it really has very little in common with other works with a similar title.
The question is whether this piece is a concerto at all, or whether it could be more fruitfully played and judged as a different kind of experimental piece in a more collaborative genre. This disc takes the latter approach, and by contextualising it in a series of piano trios, it presents this work as Beethoven’s most richly instrumented chamber music.