Day 252: Piano Variations III, Piano Sonatas Wo047, Misc. Piano Works I

BeethovenCD57Two pianists perform on today’s CD: Alfred Brendel and Ulrich Staerk.

I’ve been listening to Alfred for a week or two. He’s fantastic.

I’m not familiar with Ulrich Staerk. So I’ll have to Google him.

According to the Naxos web site (Naxos is another excellent Classical music label),

Ulrich Stærk has been a much sought-after concert pianist in Denmark since his debut in Copenhagen in 1989, and has a wide-ranging career on the Continent with concerts in cities like Paris, Vienna and London. He has worked with artists like Yo-Yo Ma, Barbara Frittoli, Inga Nielsen and the Rubinstein Quartet, and has been a soloist with several orchestras; among these we can mention the Schleswig-Holstein Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR, the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra and the regional orchestras in Århus and North Slesvig in piano concertos by Chopin, Mozart, Ravel, Bartók, Shostakovich, de Falla, Beethoven, Grieg, Gershwin and Czerny.

That doesn’t tell me how old he is. But it tells me he’s accomplished.

Tracks 1-9 (Alfred) were recorded between 1961 and 1964. They are:

6 Easy Variations in F Wo064 on a Swiss Air

9 Variations in A Wo069 on Paisello’s Air “Quant’e piu bello”

6 Variations in G Wo077 on an Original Theme

8 Variations in C Wo072 on Gretry’s Air “Un fievre brulante”

Rondo in G Op. 51 No. 2

Allegretto in C Minor Wo053

6 Ecossaises Wo083

Bagatelle in A Minor Wo059 “Fure Elise”

Polonaise in C Op. 89

Tracks 10-15 (Ulrich) were recorded in 2007. They are:

Piano Sonata in E Flat Wo047 No. 1

Piano Sonata in F Minor Wo047 No. 2

The incomparable “Fur Elise” is on this CD. I consider it one of the most beautiful melodies ever created.

Overall, I prefer Alfred Brendel over Ulrich Staerk. But Continue reading