Piano Concerto No. 3 (Ries)

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Piano Concerto No. 3 in C-sharp minor, Op. 55, by German composer Ferdinand Ries was written around 1813. It was composed in the proto-Romantic style, similar to the concertos of Johann Nepomuk Hummel, and anticipates stylistic developments of future Romantic composers.

Composition date[edit]

The manuscript bears the notation "St. Petersburg 1812", suggesting it was begun there (but the work may not have been finished there). In any case, it was probably (according to Allan Badley[1]) begun in 1812 and finished later, and most likely the fifth of Ries's eight piano concertos to be written.[a][2]

Connection to Franz Liszt[edit]

This piece, according to the diary of Adam Liszt, father of Franz Liszt, was the piano piece being played by Adam which "completely absorbed" Franz in his "sixth year"; following this he incessantly begged to be taught the piano.[3]


This work follows the traditional three-movement structure:

  1. Allegro maestoso
  2. Larghetto – (attacca)
  3. Rondo: Allegretto

The first movement bears a strong resemblance to the music of period composers such as J. N. Hummel, John Field, or Friedrich Kalkbrenner. The second theme is in A-flat major, rather than the expected E major. The second movement, in A major anticipates the stylistic idiom of the music of Frédéric Chopin. The third movement, a fast 2/4, begins deceptively in C-sharp major, but it is actually in C-sharp minor, in which key the movement (and the work) ends.


Notable recordings of this composition include:

Piano Conductor Orchestra Record Company Year of Recording Format
Felicja Blumental Theodore Guschlbauer Salzburg Chamber Orchestra Brana Records 1968 CD
Maria Littauer Alois Springer Hamburg Symphony Orchestra Vox 1972 CD
Christopher Hinterhuber Uwe Grodd Gävle Symphony Orchestra Naxos 2006 CD


  1. ^ Concerto no. 3 refers to the order of publication, not composition, and likewise for all of Ries's concertos.

External links[edit]