‘Lesser’ of Beethoven’s Concertos on SASO Program

It’s not often you get to hear Beethoven’s Triple Concerto performed live.

It’s hard to say why, although some might cite its length — just under 40 minutes in all, with half of that devoted to the first movement. Others will say that of all Beethoven’s concertos — this being his only one composed for more than one solo instrument — this one is largely dismissed as the least among his works.

Frankly, the criticism is unwarranted. The Triple Concerto is a lively work that in the right hands can be downright fun. We witnessed that side of the piece when the Eroica Trio performed it with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in late 2012.

The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra is aiming for a similar outcome when the volunteer ensemble, led by Conductor Linus Lerner, performs the concerto alongside Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8.

The trio of soloists features Tucson luthier and SASO Principal Cellist Zoran Stilin, who will perform a newly crafted cello. Husband and wife violinist Edwin E. Soo Kim and pianist Melanie Chae, both born in South Korea and educated in Europe, round out the trio.

The concerto will follow another little-played work, the “Light Cavalry” Overture from Franz von Suppé’s operetta “Light Cavalry” Don’t feel badly if you’ve never heard of it; the 1866 operetta never caught fire, although the overture has certainly found a life of its own as a concert piece.

SASO will perform the concert three times this weekend: 7 p.m. Friday at Green Valley’s Valley Presbyterian Church, 2800 S. Camino del Sol; 7:30 p.m. Saturday at SaddleBrooke’s DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Drive; and 3 p.m. Sunday at Oro Valley’s St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7575 N. Paseo del Norte. Tickets are $23 for the Green Valley and Oro Valley shows at sasomusic.org and $24 for SaddleBrooke at tickets.saddlebrooketwo.com

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