Beethoven and the Sonata Idea: Part 4

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Illustration by Emil Eugen Sachse, 1854 (Emil Eugen Sachse/Wikimedia Commons)

This week, host David Dubal delves further into individual movements of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas. With each sonata, Beethoven expanded the musical form, conceiving bold new landscapes for the piano repertoire. 

This program takes us on a journey from Beethoven’s very first to his penultimate sonata, composed during a tumultuous period when he struggled with his finances and his health. Devastated by hearing loss, the composer isolated himself and lived only for his art. The series continues to explore a variety of excellent Beethoven interpreters, many of whom have recorded all 32 of the piano sonatas.   

Tune in Thursday night at 8pm or Sunday night at 10pm to hear the latest episode of Beethoven and the Sonata Idea.


Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2, III. Menuetto: Allegrettro

--Maurizio Pollini, piano


Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 9 in E major, Op. 14, I. Allegro

--Garrick Ohlsson, piano


Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10, II. Adagio molto e con brio

--Robert Taub, piano


Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2, IV. Prestissimo

--Maurizio Pollini, piano


Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54, I. In tempo d’un menuetto

--Nikolai Lugansky, piano


Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101, II. Vivace alla marcia

--Hélène Grimaud, piano


Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110, IV: Fuga

--Mitsuko Uchida, piano 

Comments [1]

Meredith from NYC

Wow, Mr. Dubal, what a quote at the end from Beethoven – ““Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind and makes them spiritually drunken.”

And I loved the sonata 5, so graceful, exquisite, subdued--- with the quote by Kempff that this alone ‘would have ensured B’s place among the immortals.’

We can listen to these sonatas, but where else but your show can we get those choice quotes that you use to illustrate your show? That makes your show unique.

WQXR no longer gives listeners the talk shows about music that taught generations of music lovers---such as a panel of critics reacting to recordings called First Hearing and George Jellinek’s The Vocal Scene. WQXR should rerun all of those shows, and publicize it, and see what listener reaction they get.
Might do more than all the obnoxious fund raising and constant sponsor commercials that are now plaguing us WQXR listeners.

Jan. 02 2017 03:23 PM

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