Friday, 2 January 2009

221. Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata in B flat major, op. 106 "Hammerklavier" (1818)


Title: Piano Sonatas, Hammerklavier, Pathertique, op. 49 no.1
Performer: François-Frédéric Guy
Year: 2005
Length: 46 minutes


Well that's a long sonata, but fortunately it is more than worth it. It is not one of Beethoven's most immediately identifiable pieces of music, but this is not to say that it is not one of his best, because that is exactly what it is. It is also, however not easy music, to play or to listen to.

This is a sonata that is not given to short snippets of easily identifiable tunes but to the whole development of it. The last two movements are the great highlights here, the 20 minute adagio being one of Beethoven's most beautiful and sad pieces and the finale being a work of truly impressive counterpoint.

I can honestly say that this is my favourite Beethoven Sonata, but it is also one which demands constant attention and dedication by the part of the listener. This is Beethoven at his most cutting edge, and what a great thing it is.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The work, particularly the last movement, had more or less to wait until the twentieth century before its significance was realised (possibly due to the difficulty of gaining a technically competent performance). Even as progressive a musician as Wagner, who appreciated the work and fully admired the late string quartets, held reservations for what he perceived as a lack of succinctness in its composition.

Part of the last movement by Brendel:

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