Piano Concerto No. 3 (Ries)

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.


The manuscript bears the notation "St. Petersburg 1812", suggesting it was begun there [a]. In any case, it was probably [b] begun in 1812 and finished later, and most likely the fifth of Ries's eight piano concertos to be written.[c][2]

The concerto was not published until 1815, when it was published by N. Simrock in Bonn with a dedication to Muzio Clementi.

Connection to Franz LisztEdit

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 (the dominant major enharmonic to G-sharp) 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 actually its home key is in C-sharp minor, in which key the movement (and the work) ends.


Notable recordings of this composition include:

Pianist 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. ^ But the work may not have been finished there.
  2. ^ According to Allan Badley.[1]
  3. ^ Concerto no. 3 refers to the order of publication, not composition, and likewise for all of Ries's concertos.
  1. ^ Bradley 2007
  2. ^ Verzeichniss von Musikalien welche in der Falterschen Musikhandlung at Google Books, by Falterische Musikhandlung
  3. ^ Walker, Alan. Franz Liszt, The Virtuoso Years,1811-1847, Cornell University Press, 1983, pp.58-9.
  • Badley, Allan (2007). Ries, F.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 2 - No. 3/Introduction and Polonaise/Variations on Swedish National Airs (CD). Naxos Records. 8.557844.
  • McGorray, Ian (2015-07-21). Ferdinand Ries and the Piano Concerto: Beethoven's Shadow and the Early Romantic Concerto (M.M.). University of Cincinnati.

External linksEdit