When Daniel Barenboim, Yo-Yo Ma and Anne-Sophie Mutter combined to gift us achingly beautiful Beethoven

14 November 2022, 17:57 | Updated: 14 November 2022, 17:59

Daniel Barenboim, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Yo-Yo Ma
Daniel Barenboim, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Yo-Yo Ma. Picture: Deutsche Grammophon / YouTube
Classic FM

By Classic FM

Remembering the time three living legends of classical music brought the magic of Beethoven to life, in five minutes of extraordinary musicality.

On 15 November, as the extraordinary pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim turns 80 years old, we’re celebrating eight decades of the classical music giant with some of his greatest recordings throughout the day on Classic FM.

One of our favourite performances of his, has to be this intensely beautiful trio with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, two of today’s most renowned classical artists and Beethoven interpreters.

Live at the Berlin Philharmonie in 2019, the three artists joined to perform the second movement ‘Largo – Attacca’ from Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in C Major. They are accompanied by the great West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, founded by Barenboim in 1999 with a mission – and vision – of promoting harmony and understanding in music against the backdrop of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Ma said of Beethoven’s great work for piano trio: “For me, in the Triple Concerto, it’s the constant invention that always takes me by surprise. You know what I love about the piece? It’s so celebratory, so positive.”

Anne-Sophie Mutter added: “Beethoven has really found the eternal message of embracing mankind. The idea that we can and should live in a brother and sisterhood is really the essence of his music.”

Read more: Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach on a beach is proof that music has healing powers

Anne-Sophie Mutter, Daniel Barenboim, Yo-Yo Ma – Beethoven: Triple Concerto in C Major, Op. 56 No. 2

Prestigious classical music label Deutsche Grammophon, who posted the video on YouTube, commented on the performance: “The Triple Concerto has a special place in Beethoven’s oeuvre, revealing his revolutionary spirit and ingrained humour both in its sophisticated architecture and in its musical idiom.

“Ever inventive, creative and original, here Beethoven stages a lavish musical feast over-flowing with melody, a feast.”

Barenboim announced in October that he would be stepping back from most performing activities for the coming months, to concentrate on his health following the diagnosis of a “serious neurological condition”.

He said: “It is with a combination of pride and sadness that I announce today that I am taking a step back from some of my performing activities, especially conducting engagements, for the coming months.

“My health has deteriorated over the last months, and I have been diagnosed with a serious neurological condition. I must now focus on my physical well-being as much as possible.

“Music has always been and continues to be an essential and lasting part of my life. I have lived all my life in and through music, and I will continue to do so as long as my health allows me to. Looking back and ahead, I am not only content but deeply fulfilled.”

Well, your Beethoven deeply nourishes and fulfills us. Happy birthday, Maestro.