Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol.1
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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
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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'.
The works on this album are Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor Opus 10, Piano Sonata No. 11 in B flat major Opus 22, Piano Sonata No. 12 in A flat major ('Funeral March'), Op. 26, and Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat major ('Les Adieux'), Op. 81a. Each dazzles, each mesmerizes, and each is completely satisfying even to the most critical ear. We can eagerly await Volume II. Grady Harp, January 12