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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol.1 / Nos. 5, 11, 12 & 26 / Jonathan Biss

Audio Samples

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 5 in C minor, Op. 10 no 1
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 11 in B flat major, Op. 22
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 12 in A flat major, Op. 26 "Funeral March"
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 26 in E flat major, Op. 81a "Les Adieux"

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 5 in C minor, Op. 10 no 1
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 11 in B flat major, Op. 22
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 12 in A flat major, Op. 26 "Funeral March"
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 26 in E flat major, Op. 81a "Les Adieux"
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

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-fl at 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.

"Biss's linear contouring and razor-sharp touch in the Scherzo leave [Paul] Lewis's dainty deliberation at the starting-gate...Audiences seem to inspire more dangerous and no less technically assured Beethoven-playing from Biss; perhaps a live concert would be a better context for Onyx to continue cultivating their Biss/Beethoven merger." -Gramophone

"There's a wonderfully unforced quality to Biss's playing that's as effective in Beethoven as it was in the outstanding Schumann disc with which he really made his name four years ago. The way in which he eases into the opening movement of the A flat Funeral March Sonata Op 26, or perfectly weights the climaxes in Op 81a, Les Adieux, are marks of an outstanding pianist; for those who stay the course, this could be a Beethoven cycle to treasure." -The Guardian

"Biss takes a middle-of-the-road view – no overly prim classicism, no romantic waywardness. He handles the slow music of Sonatas 5 and 26 thoughtfully, and the latter’s lively finale is suitably inspiring." -The Financial Times

Irish Times
Biss turned 30 two years ago, and he's anything but youthfully rash in his approach. His concern is with the range and sheer fecundity of Beethoven's invention...Tonally, the playing is finely controlled, with a balance that's rich in the bass and smooth in the treble, and the recording is well-focused, without clouding effects from any overhang of reverberation. What's not to like?

Classic FM Magazine
[Biss] has all the ingredients he needs to become one of today's great Beethovenians. This disc proves he's well on the way. He teases out the brilliant and quirky heart of the sonatas; he is affectionate in the reflective slow movements, and witty and light-fingered in the virtuoso sky-rockets. He takes nothing for granted: in his hands Beethoven is no pompous grand master but an energetic radical, bursting at the seams with fresh ideas.

Sunday Times
The performances - brilliant, precisely thought, yet spontaneous-sounding - are a joy. I also like the way Biss has chosen to begin with four of the least often heard sonatas, then shows how wrong we are not to celebrate them, for in his hands they are a continual surprise and delight.

BBC Music Magazine
This is a marvellously promising beginning by one of the most thoughtful and technically accomplished pianists of the younger generation...his playing is by no means didactic: it is forceful, fierce but not exaggerated, and sometimes scintillating...I look forward to the next instalment.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, State Univers (05/11/2011-05/13/2011).



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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 5 in C minor, Op. 10 no 1
  • Performer: Jonathan Biss (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, State University of New York (05/11/2011-05/13/2011)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1795-1797

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 11 in B flat major, Op. 22
  • Performer: Jonathan Biss (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, State University of New York (05/11/2011-05/13/2011)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1800

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 12 in A flat major, Op. 26 "Funeral March"
  • Performer: Jonathan Biss (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, State University of New York (05/11/2011-05/13/2011)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1800-1801

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 26 in E flat major, Op. 81a "Les Adieux"
  • Performer: Jonathan Biss (Piano)
  • Notes: Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, State University of New York (05/11/2011-05/13/2011)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1809-1810