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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op. 22, 26 & 49
The Classical Shop
release date: September 1999
Originally recorded in 1998
Potton Hall Studio, Westleton, Suffolk
Total Time - 63:31
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LUDVIG VAN BEETHOVEN
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Piano Sonata in A flat major, Op. 26
in As-Dur - la bémol majeur
Andante con variazioni
Scherzo: Allegro molto
Marcia funebre sulla morte d'un Eroe
Piano Sonata in B flat major, Op. 22
in B-Dur - si bémol majeur
Allegro con brio
Adagio con molta espressione
Piano Sonata in G minor, Op. 49 No. 1
in g-Moll - sol mineur
Piano Sonata in G major, Op. 49 No. 2
in G-Dur - sol majeur
Allegro, ma non troppo
Tempo di menuetto
Gifted Pianist Louis Lortie excels in this, the seventh disc in his on-going Beethoven sonata series.
The collection of sonatas include on this disc is interesting in that it stands on the crossroads of Beethoven’s change from conventional to more innovative piano writing.
The Sonata in B flat major, Op. 22 was completed in 1800 when Beethoven had enjoyed a spell of great activity which included the Third Piano Concerto, the First Symphony, the Septet, the Horn Sonata, two Violin Sonatas, the ballet music for the highly successful Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus, some of the Op. 18 String Quartets and miscellaneous smaller works. Although Op. 22 was the last of the composer’s sonatas to conform to accepted academic standards, its completion gave him much pleasure.
Beethoven does not begin the Sonata in A flat major with the customary first-movement form. Adopting an idea from Mozart, Beethoven uses variation form. The mood is serene with a plaintive middle section. This is followed by a Scherzo with a calm trio section. Instead of the usual slow movement there is a funeral march in memory of an unknown hero. The short trio in the major key suggest salutes fired over the grave and rolling drums. This is followed by a concise rondo in the nature of a moto perpetuo.
The two Op. 49 Sonatas were sent to the publisher by Beethoven’s younger brother Carl without the consent or knowledge of Ludwig. The first has a leisurely Andante in sonata form for its first movement. The second Sonata has no dynamic markings I the first movement and only two in the second. The well-known minuet has a lively middle section; a version of the first theme of this movement also appears in the Septet, Op. 20.
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