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Beethoven and Romanticism

Mathias Weber on Richard Wagner's Èrard grand piano (1858)


amb 95609
EAN 4011392956093

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827): Sonata Op 81a E-flat major („The Farewell“)
Sonata Op 90 e-minor
Sonata op. 101 A-major
Sonata op. 27 Nr. 2 („Moonlight Sonata“)

Where can -- regarding the aspect of romanticism – the characteristics of a forward-looking perspective be spotted in Beethoven’s piano music? It is exactly this question that pianist Mathias Weber seems to have pursued on his lately released CD (ambitus) ‘Beethoven and Romanticism’ when recording his piano sonatas op. 81a (‘Les Adieux’), op. 90, op. 101 as well as op. 27/2 (‘Moonlight’ Sonata) on Richard Wagner’s legendary Erard grand piano from 1858 in his Swiss resort of Tribschen near Lucerne.
In all probability composers like Wagner or Brahms at their time had ceased performing Beethoven’s piano music on those pianos which had been at Beethoven’s disposal once, but rather played it on their contemporary instruments, which were inspired by the gusto of romanticism, representing his compositions though in a tonal design that the composer himself might have had in mind. –
Weber is mastering a very interesting and likewise convincing experiment here which fathoms out the sonatas in a way that is apt to light up a multitude of details concerning the complex topic of ‘Beethoven between classicism and romanticism’. The extraordinarily flexible and multicoloured tone of Wagner’s Erard grand piano certainly contributes its share to a recording absolutely worth listening to.
Jens Erbrich