- Concerto for piano, violin, cello & orchestra in C major ("Triple Concerto"), Op. 56
- Concerto for violin, cello & orchestra in A minor ("Double"), Op. 102
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It is hard to remember back to a time when this cover photograph -- three geezers in ties and dark suits, two of them bald and one with thick, horn-rimmed glasses -- could have been considered hip. But, even then, of course, the last thing Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft wanted in a recording of Brahms' "Double Concerto" was hip. What DGG wanted was the big-boned tone of cellist Janos Starker, the hard-muscled technique of violinist Wolfgang Schneiderhan, and, most of all, the clear-eyed modernism of the RSO Berlin under Ferenc Fricsay. And that's exactly what it got: a Brahms' "Double" that had plenty of power and precision but that was cold-blooded in its execution. But, even coupled with Fricsay's recording of Beethoven's "Triple Concerto" again with Schneiderhan, but partnered this time with Pierre Fournier and Géza Anda, it's hard to imagine anyone in these digital times will find these performances hip. Fricsay was a cool and clear conductor with a lean and sinewy approach to tempo and form and, while his Beethoven "Triple" is lyrical, it is more objective than subjective, more steel than silk. While back in the early '60s, these recordings along with the three geezers on the cover might have been hip, one wonders if digital listeners will be able to dig it, daddy-o. DG's original early stereo sound was warmer and deeper than many of its original early digital recordings.