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Wydawnictwo: Challenge Classics
Nr katalogowy: CC 72937
Nośnik: 1 CD
Data wydania: luty 2023
EAN: 608917293708
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Epoka muzyczna: barok, klasycyzm, romantyzm
Obszar (język): niemiecki
Instrumenty: fortepian
Rodzaj: sonata, suita, fantazja

Beethoven / Bach / Brahms: Sonatas, French Suite, Fantasies

Challenge Classics - CC 72937
Georg Kjurdian, piano
Ludwig van Beethoven:
Piano Sonata No. 24 in F-Sharp Major, Op. 78, ‘A Thérese’
Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110

Johann Sebastian Bach:
French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816

Johannes Brahms:
7 Fantasies, Op. 116
A sound-studio recording session is quite a special experience for a musician. One finds oneself seated in a huge room in front of a grand piano with one’s music-score set on a music stand (or scattered about on the floor). Huddled in a tiny room next to it is the recording engineer, who directs the whole process and throws in, now and then, through the loudspeakers some witty, encouraging comment. Outside, it is October, and in the old abbey of Marienmünster it is very quiet. One can hardly imagine better conditions for being alone, in “tete-a-tete” as it were, with oneself. And in this situation, so apt for bringing to expression all that is most beautiful and most intimate, the names of no other composers could possibly occur to me before those of the men whose works are to be heard on this CD. Bach, Beethoven and Brahms: the composers often referred to in the German-speaking world as “the three great B’s”. The figures who have accompanied me my whole life long.

Forming, so to speak, the two “outer edges” of the CD are Beethoven’s Sonatas op. 78 and op. 110. The two-movement sonata op. 78 is the very first work of Beethoven’s that I ever studied and rehearsed, back when I was still a pupil at my high school, specializing in music, in Riga. Today, after more than ten years have gone by, Beethoven’s op. 78 seems to me to be an even more extreme work than it did back then. It is unusually short for a sonata, with a lyrical first movement and a whimsical second one, the humorousness of which comes close to exceeding the limits of propriety. Beethoven’s op. 110 is a work of a completely opposite nature to this. One is confronted, in its four movements, respectively with four different worlds: a lyrical-operatic world in the first; a coarse, rumbustious one in the second; a despairingly tragic one in the third; and finally a reconciled world in the fourth.

Bach’s little Prelude in C Major was the piece which really prompted my definite decision to become a pianist by profession. His French Suite no. 5 in G Major (BWV 816) is one of Bach’s most vivacious and optimistic-sounding compositions. Considered from our present-day viewpoint, the Suite represents a sort of musical tour through Europe. At the end of this Suite the listener has the feeling that he has spent a brief holiday respectively in each of several European countries, having gotten a sense and taste of the various temperaments, scents and rhythms of each.

By the age of 16 Brahms had become one of my greatest favourites. I had such reverence for him that for several years I did not even dare to learn his pieces or to play them. I began to do this only at age 22. The 7 Fantasies (op. 116) which I present on the CD was composed in 1892. This means that it counts among those late works of Brahms in which he paid much more attention to working in smaller forms but also to achieving, in these forms, an extremely intimate and intensive form of self-expression. The cycle in question here consists of 3 capriccios and 4 intermezzi. The capriccios produce a virtuosic and extroverted impression; the intermezzi, by contract, an impression of extreme lyricism and melancholy. In the case of Op. 116 it is the 4 intermezzi, with their enormous inner strength and melancholy air, that build up the emotional core of the cycle.

Recorded at Kulturstiftung Marienmünster (Abtei 3), Germany, 13-15 October 2021.

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