Day 248: Piano Sonatas Op. 13 “Pathetique,” Op. 22, Op. 26 “Funeral March,” Op. 78

BeethovenCD53Today’s CD, like so many others, features some of Beethoven’s best work – at least, to my ears.

For example, the first composition – Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor Op. 13 “Pathetique,” which is analyzed on Wikipedia in this entry:

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, commonly known as Sonata Pathétique, was written in 1798 when the composer was 27 years old, and was published in 1799. Beethoven dedicated the work to his friend Prince Karl von Lichnowsky. Although commonly thought to be one of the few works to be named by the composer himself, it was actually named Grande sonate pathétique (to Beethoven’s liking) by the publisher, who was impressed by the sonata’s tragic sonorities.

Prominent musicologists debate whether or not the Pathétique may have been inspired by Mozart’s piano sonata K. 457, since both compositions are in C minor and have three very similar movements. The second movement, “Adagio cantabile”, especially, makes use of a theme remarkably similar to that of the spacious second movement of Mozart’s sonata. However, Beethoven’s sonata uses a unique motif line throughout, a major difference from Haydn or Mozart’s creation.

This sounds more like Beethoven than the pieces he dedicated to Haydn. It’s dynamic, with an emphasis on introspection and melancholy.

Coincidentally, as I was listening to this piece, I wondered if Continue reading

Day 227: Violin Sonatas II

BeethovenCD32Two violin sonatas await the lucky listener on today’s CD:

Violin Sonata No. 4 in A Minor Op. 23 (composed 1800-1801; Beethoven was 30-31)

Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Op. 24 “Spring” (composed 1801; Beethoven was 31)

Both are performed eloquently by Kristof Barati on violin and Klara Wurtz on piano.

I should have looked up Klara Wurtz sooner because what I found out about her is interesting:

Klára Würtz (Budapest, 1965) is a Hungarian pianist. She is married to the Dutch label manager Pieter Shop Brilliant Classics, and since 1996 living in Amsterdam. Würtz teaches at the Utrecht Conservatory.

Her career has ups and downs; periods of action are interspersed with silences. After the birth of her daughter (2004), it may not play because of tendinitis in her hands for a year. But according to her is not her ambition to “a toppianiste” to be., As they say themselves,

Her many musical recordings covering mainly the Classical and Romantic period: Mozart , Beethoven , Brahms , Schubert, Schumann, Tchaikovsky.

That was translated using Google translations for the Wikipedia article. So it’s not precise in its wording. But I think we get the gist of it.

What I found most interesting is that she’s married to the man who manages Brilliant Classics, the record label on which this recording resides.

In the Classical music world, two labels used to rule Continue reading