Recordings of Beethoven's Triple Concerto, Op. 56, by a piano trio rather than by a group of virtuosi (a configuration that almost always misunderstands the work) are not abundant. Still rarer are those like the present release by the Storioni Trio, a Dutch group that takes its name from the maker of the 1790s instrument played by the violinist (and strung, like the viola, with gut strings). Pianist Bart van de Roer plays an 1815 Lagasse fortepiano. This recording is part of a series devoted to Beethoven's piano trios, but the Triple Concerto actually is more comfortable in those surroundings than when forced to keep company with the likes of the Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61.
Maria João Pires “shapes and colours every phrase, and with immaculate taste, and she makes sure the phrases end as eloquently as they begin,” wrote Gramophone in 1974. “She conveys not just the details but the relevance of every note to the whole … Best of all, she communicates everything she has discovered about the music, and it is worth having.” This Portuguese pupil of Wilhelm Kempff, Pires was one of the artists who defined the Erato label in the 1970s and 1980s. This 5-CD box gathers together the recordings she made over the period from 1976 to 1985 and it reflects the consistent focus of her repertoire, with its special emphasis on Austro-German composers of the Classical and early-Romantic periods. Embracing solo works, piano duets and concertos, it contains works by Mozart, Schumann, Beethoven, but also by Bach and Chopin.
This double-CD release is a second volume in pianist Paavali Jumppanen’s ongoing recording cycle of the Beethoven piano sonatas. This new release contains six piano sonatas: three early Op. 10 sonatas (published in 1798) and three sonatas written between 1804–06 (Opp. 53, 54 & 57). Piano Sonata Op. 53 Waldstein, completed after the 3rd Symphony, was described by Wilhelm von Lenz, an early biographer of Beethoven, as a “heroic symphony for piano.” Piano Sonata Op. 57 Appassionata is undoubtedly Beethoven’s darkest and most aggressive work. The Sonata has been compared to Dante’s Inferno and Shakespeare’s bloodthirsty Macbeth.
Wilhelm Kempff (1895–1991), one of the great piano masters, receives an exceptional tribute from the label with which he was most closely associated. This is a beautiful, limited-edition 35-CD box of Kempff’s complete solo repertoire on DG and Decca Classics. It includes the stereo Beethoven sonata cycle, the Schubert sonata cycle, generous anthologies of Bach, Brahms, Liszt, Schubert, and Schumann – plus Chopin and Baroque. There are many rarities, not readily available at present.
Gerhard Oppitz is a German classical pianist. He studied with Paul Buck, Hugo Steurer and Wilhelm Kempff. In 1981 he was appointed professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München - the youngest in the history of the institute - where he still teaches. As a soloist he has appeared with many famous conductors and orchestras of the world. In the summer 1977, at the age of 24, Oppitz was the first German to win the Arthur Rubinstein piano competition in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Wilms was the most important composer in the Amsterdam music world during the first half of the 19th century, but only few of his Symphonies are available on CD. Born in Germany two years after Beethoven, he was influenced by the works of Haydn and Mozart.
Critically acclaimed Radio Chamber Orchestra (40 piece) toured worldwide and is well known for interpretations of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, but also of modern compositions. Anthony Halstead, born in Manchester (UK), conducted a.o. the Bach programme at BBC Proms.
The Vienna Philharmonic is one of the world's leading recording orchestras. Ever since its very first recording of Beethoven's 6th Symphony under Franz Schalk in 1928, work in the studio has taken up a considerable part of its "free time", which is, on account of its duties at the Vienna State Opera, in any case very limited. There are not many major 20th-century conductors, many important works of the operatic and concert repertory, or indeed many important labels that do not figure in its large and comprehensive disco-graphy.