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Variations: Haydn, Beethoven, Schumann / Emanuel Ax, piano

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (15) and Fugue for Piano in E flat major, Op. 35 "Eroica"
>Haydn, Franz Joseph : F Minor Variations
>Schumann, Robert : Symphonic Etudes for Piano, Op. 13
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Legendary pianist Emanuel Ax releases his new solo recital album Variations, featuring the artist's premiere recordings of pieces from Haydn, Beethoven and Schumann. Throughout 2013, Ax will be performing repertoire from Variations in Los Angeles, St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit, Washington, DC and Pittsburgh. Additionally, as an Artist in Residence with the New York Philharmonic, Ax will appear frequently throughout 2013 at Lincoln Center.

From a string of early career successes in the 1970s, Emanuel Ax has emerged as one of the most versatile, brilliant, and universally respected pianists on the international concert scene. As a soloist, Ax has demonstrated a particular affinity for the Romantics, nonetheless, his repertoire is among the most diverse of any pianist today. He is also a particular champion of contemporary music, and has played and commissioned works from such composers as Joseph Schwantner, John Adams, and Christopher Rouse. Ax is considered by players and audiences alike to be a chamber musician par excellence and his frequent partners include Isaac Stern, Jaime Laredo and Richard Stolzman. His regular collaborations with cellist Yo-Yo Ma have earned Ax three of his seven Grammy® Awards.

American Record Guide, July/August 2013
The playing is, in a word, unbelievable. Ax's formidable technique never dwarfs the music or its proper expression: his commitment to the composers is always the most important thing. Still, his own artistic personality shines thru as well: in the Haydn, a wonderfully elastic sense of tempo brings freshness to the music and a spontaneity that I think its variety well deserves. The Beethoven sounds the most solid and thoughtful. (In the liner notes he remarks that the set has long been one of his favorites.) Perhaps most compelling in the performance are Ax's tempo choices, which emphasize the larger structural shape of the set as a whole. As for the Schumann, Ax's huge hands have no trouble with the widely-spaced textures of the piece and the other - extreme - technical challenges are so well managed that the musical sweep of each piece appears very clearly. I frankly think the piece is best.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (06/25/2012-06/27/2012).



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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (15) and Fugue for Piano in E flat major, Op. 35 "Eroica"
  • Performer: Emanuel Ax (Piano)
  • Notes: Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (06/25/2012-06/27/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1802

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : F Minor Variations
  • Performer: Emanuel Ax (Piano)
  • Notes: Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (06/25/2012-06/27/2012)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1793

>Schumann, Robert : Symphonic Etudes for Piano, Op. 13
  • Performer: Emanuel Ax (Piano)
  • Notes: Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (06/25/2012-06/27/2012)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1834-1861