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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol.1 Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, January 10, 2012
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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.

Review

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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  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)


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
  • Label: ONYX CLASSICS
  • ASIN: B005X0NRVG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,995 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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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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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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