Angela Hewitt presents a fourth volume in her acclaimed series of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, which has delighted her fans worldwide. The little-known Sonata in B flat major, Op 22, the last of Beethoven’s ‘early’ sonatas, is recorded alongside Op 31 No 3 (sometimes known as ‘La chasse’, or ‘The Hunt’, because of its tumultuous Presto con fuoco finale). The album is concluded with Op 101, of which the journalist for the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung in Leipzig wrote: ‘Truly, here in his 101st composition admiration and renewed respect take hold of us, when we wander along strange, never trodden paths with the great painter of the soul’, going on to enthuse about the most beautiful colours and pictures in Beethoven’s new Piano Sonata.
Angela Hewitt is rapidly establishing herself as one of the great pianists of our age, her concert career expanding as rapidly as her discography, so it seems only right that, following her success in tackling one of the pillars of classical music in Bach, she should tackle another in Beethoven. This volume commences a survey of Beethoven sonatas which will couple the well known, in this case the ‘Appassionata’, with the comparatively neglected, here the grandest of Beethoven’s early sonatas, his Op 7. The disc is completed with a superb performance of Op 10/3, one of the early sonatas where Beethoven can be seen breaking the bounds of convention to create the style which would define the great works of his middle period.
Every man's death diminishes us all, but the death of a man so close to completing his greatest achievement and the summation of his life's work diminishes us all greatly – very, very greatly. When Emil Gilels died in 1985, he had completed recordings of most but not all of Beethoven's piano sonatas, released here in a nine-disc set. What's here is unimaginably good: superlative recordings of 27 of the 32 canonical sonatas, including the "Pathétique," "Moonlight," "Waldstein," "Appassionata," "Les Adieux," and the majestic "Hammerklavier," plus the two early "Electoral" Sonatas and the mighty Eroica Variations. What's missing is unimaginably priceless: five of the canonical sonatas, including the first and – horror vacui – the last. But still, for what there is, we must be grateful. Beyond all argument one of the great pianists of the twentieth century, Gilels the Soviet super virtuoso had slowly mellowed and ripened over his long career, and when he began recording the sonatas in 1972, his interpretations had matured and deepened while his superlative technique remained gloriously intact straight through to the last recordings of his final year.
Pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont releases his first disc on Resonus Classics with an album containing three pivotal sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven - the two Op. 27 sonatas labelled "Quasi una fantasia" in E flat major and C sharp minor (including the "Moonlight" sonata) and the Op. 28 sonata in D major ("Pastoral"). In these three sonatas we see Beethoven stretching and experimenting with both form and texture, and the Paris-born pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont - known for his innovative and insightful interpretations - brings a unique and fresh view to these vital works of the classical piano repertoire.