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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol.1; Sonatas Nos. 5, 11, 12, & 26 [Import]

Jonathan Biss , Ludwig van Beethoven , None Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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American pianist Jonathan Biss launched his career in the late '90s, appearances as a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony and several other prominent national ensembles. He achieved career-boosting triumphs with his New York appearances in 2000: that year he debuted as soloist with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall and also gave his recital debut at Tisch Center ... Read more in Amazon's Jonathan Biss Store

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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol.1; Sonatas Nos. 5, 11, 12, & 26 + Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol.2 + Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol.3
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Product Details

  • Performer: Jonathan Biss
  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (January 10, 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • ASIN: B005X0NRVG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,363 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10/1: 1. Allegro molto e con brio
2. Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10/1: 2. Adagio molto
3. Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10/1: 3. Prestissimo
4. Piano Sonata No. 11 in B flat major, Op. 22: 1. Allegro con brio
5. Piano Sonata No. 11 in B flat major, Op. 22: 2. Adagio con molt'espressione
6. Piano Sonata No. 11 in B flat major, Op. 22: 3. Menuetto
7. Piano Sonata No. 11 in B flat major, Op. 22: 4. Rondo: Allegretto
8. Piano Sonata No. 12 in A flat major ('Funeral March'), Op. 26: 1. Andante con variazioni
9. Piano Sonata No. 12 in A flat major ('Funeral March'), Op. 26: 2. Scherzo. Allegro molto
10. Piano Sonata No. 12 in A flat major ('Funeral March'), Op. 26: 3. Maestoso andante, marcia funebre sulla morte d'un eroe
11. Piano Sonata No. 12 in A flat major ('Funeral March'), Op. 26: 4. Allegro
12. Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat major ('Les Adieux'), Op. 81a: 1. Das Lebewohl. Adagio - Allegro
13. Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat major ('Les Adieux'), Op. 81a: 2. Abwesenheit. Andante espressivo (In gehender Bewegung, doch mit viel
14. Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat major ('Les Adieux'), Op. 81a: 3. Das Wiedersehen. Vivacissimamente (Im lebhaftesten Zeitmaße)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the most exciting pianists of the younger generation, American Jonathan Biss is widely regarded for his artistry, musical intelligence and deeply felt interpretations, winning international recognition for his orchestral, recital and chamber music performances and for his award-winning recordings. He performs a diverse repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven, through the Romantics to Janácek and Schoenberg as well as works by contemporary composers. This marks the debut release in Biss complete cycle of Beethoven s piano sonatas for Onyx. The first volume features three works from Beethoven s early period and one from the middle the famous Les Adieux, Op.81a in E-flat major. This fascinating program illustrates how Beethoven s sonatas developed from the early, virtuosic works of the 1790s to the assured compositions of his middle period.


A young virtuoso and poetic pianist of the first order... --Chicago Sun Times

Customer Reviews

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beginning of an Event Promised January 16, 2012
Format:Audio CD
Jonathan Biss has set about recording all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas. This CD is Volume 1 and an auspicious opus it is. The artistry of this young artist grows steadily and his mastery of the Beethoven sonatas is recognized throughout the world. The selection of how these volumes will be organized is doubtless due in part of Biss' input. This Volume I offers sonatas that in tis sequence sound as though they have not been performed better by any pianist: if that sounds like puffery then treat yourself to this Volume and be stunned. The cycle of the 32 sonatas will be spread over 9 discs and released over the course of 9 years. To quote Biss' liner notes the cycle represents '32 masterpieces, 32 distinct structures, 32 fully realized, often awe-inspiring, always unique emotional universes. As individual works, each is endlessly compelling on its own merits; as a cycle, it moves from transcendence to transcendence, the basic concerns always the same, but the language impossibly varied.'

Jonathan Biss is only thirty one years old and he has said that the project's lengthy span is due to his being reluctant to record the sonatas until he has performed each of them live, giving him the opportunity to study and live with them for a period of time before committing a performance to a recording. To date, he has performed 18 of the sonatas live. 'No matter when I started, recording the complete Beethoven Sonatas was always going to be daunting. But given that I've now been working on this music for 20 years, and that not a day goes by when its beauty, grit, and sheer force of personality fail to take hold of me, I felt that now was as good a time as any. The challenge remains enormous, but the elation in playing Beethoven is like no other feeling and makes the challenge well worth it'.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jonathan Biss Beethoven Sonatas June 10, 2012
By paulacn
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I had purchased the cd based on comments made from a person who actually saw him in concert. I am a great fan of Beethoven and have played many of his sonatas over the years. I thought that Jonathan's playing was technically brilliant...would like to hear more 'feeling' in his playing. What was disappointing was that either the recording or piano thst he played on for the recording rendered the base chords 'tinny'. I don't think I'll risk purchasing another cd for this reason.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven's wide emotional range magnificently expressed February 18, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
What a joy it is for this retired piano teacher to hear the clarity and proportion Jonathan Biss achieves in his first three albums of Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas. Biss has immersed himself in studying Beethoven's time, place, scores and personality. With this forethought, he goes for the long melodic lines, the well-balanced harmonies and the driving rhythms that Beethoven employs to express an amazing emotional range: sinister threats, good humor, despair, ardor, joy and serenity (to name just a few). His allegros declare the plot; his adagios dig deep; his prestos scale the heights. I have played several of the sonatas myself and listened to recordings by Schnabel and other artists for over 50 years, but Biss's performances are the truest and most stirring I have heard. In his skilled hands, Beethoven's music touches me deeply and gives me hope. Thank you, Jonathan Biss, for making the world a better place. I look forward to future releases.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Biss has set out, or is perhaps destined, to reflect the legacy of Rudolf Serkin, and now at 32 he has begun a complete Beethoven sonata cycle, something Serkin never fulfilled. Because of his gold-plated musical pedigree, with distinguished musicians in his family (his mother is the violinist Miriam Fried) and equally distinguished teachers (including Leon Fleisher), Biss is continuing a tradition that goes back to the great generation of Jewish immigrants fleeing Nazi Germany. They formed the basis of classical music culture transplanted in full flower from Europe to America.

I mention this because Biss carries the weight of tradition more than the usual Curtis Institute graduate with great skill and teaching. When I've heard him live, it was uncannily like the spirit of Fleisher or Serkin, with the same respect and sobriety toward the great Austro-German composers but more than that, the feeling that Biss loved and felt the music the way his predecessors did. So, has all of that translated into Beethoven playing of remarkable accomplishment?

The answer doesn't come easily, for me, at least. I was very enthusiastic about Biss's early EMI recordings, where his style in Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann was delightful - natural, knowing, always involved. That impression isn't erased here, but I'm not sure that it's been deepened, either. The two earliest sonatas, Op. 10 no. 1 and Op. 22 are done with poise and careful balance, but I could get the same from Richard Goode, a model of correctness whose playing doesn't soar or venture into personal territory. The recorded sound is very good and (as with Serkin) quite close up, which reveals every detail of Biss's touch. On that score, there is nothing to fault. If only the interpretations could stick their necks out a bit.
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