26 through 28 (Nos. Although originally not intended to be a meaningful whole, as a set they comprise one of the most important collections of works in the history of music. You won't BELIEVE number 17! If I must rank them, I will do so now, but this would change if I did it tomorrow -- … Yet these sonatas really aren't bad at all. Beethoven famously wrote of this piece "Die Sonate hat sich gewaschen," which translates roughly to "alright here it is now pay me my money." The four sonatas Op. It is unclear why he did so. Equally, just because there is special substance to these final sonatas, this does not diminish the great middle- period ones like the Waldstein, and the gloriously turbulent Appassionata. Anne-Marie Minhall Even so, he began to find new ways of composing his sonatas. Although originally not intended to be a meaningful whole, as a set they comprise one of the most important collections of works in the history of music. This is our top recommendation. Ravishing, Alfred Brendel suggests, because the left and right hands are so far apart, perhaps an act of desperation by Beethoven to try to create chords he could still hear, even distantly. Hans von Bülow called them "The New Testament" of the piano literature (Johann Sebastian Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier being "The Old Testament"). In fact, it was considered unplayable until almost 15 years later, when Liszt played it in a concert. Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his 32 piano sonatas between 1795 and 1822. Beethoven's late sonatas were some of his most difficult works and some of today's most difficult repertoire. Paying full price for Goode isn’t recommended, when Stephen Kovacevich’s splendidly recorded digital cycle from 1991-2002 is available as an EMI box. Beethoven’s 32 is a cycle with a beginning, a middle and an end. It's commonly thought that this and the next-ranked sonatas were both composed early in Beethoven's career but were published much later. 90 give me Op. The bad news is that no single pianist holds the key to these great but often elusive works, or rather can convey every facet of these complex masterpieces. by Artur Schnabel, Alfred Masterwork Edition, Publisher's Preface, Artur Schnabel's for the label His Master's Voice, "Beethoven, Houston a treat for audience", Association for Recorded Sound Collections, https://web.archive.org/web/20110519080528/http://patachonf.free.fr/musique/arrau/discographie.php?p=b#Beethoven, Beethoven lecture-recitals at Wigmore Hall, London, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Piano_sonatas_(Beethoven)&oldid=987626362, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 November 2020, at 07:48. His set is one of the great milestones in the history of recorded sound, and can be purchased either as an EMI box, or separately, well transferred, on Naxos. Beethoven’s conception of the sonata was perpetually in flux, but the year 1801 is a particularly experimental one. I can't say I'd have the same order as you (late sonatas, the rest), but those are the same sonatas I'd pick. The good news for CD collectors is that all the complete sets available are excellent, without a single dud, and most are attractively priced. Okay, not really... he regarded it as one of his best early works. “Mozart is a garden, Schubert is a forest in light and shade, but Beethoven is a mountain range,” said the great Austrian pianist Artur Schnabel. Most Romantic period sonatas were highly influenced by those of Beethoven. That arpeggio in the final movement is supposed to be funny, right? Trumpet Concerto in Eb major Hob.VIIe:1 (3), This 3-year-old kid conducting to Beethoven’s Fifth is, ‘Fullnaming’ Mozart and Beethoven to fight sexism and, racism? It should be augmented as follows: Daniel Barenboim was a young man when he recorded his first cycle, often, it’s said, playing them in the studio for the very first time. The first pianist to make a complete recording was Artur Schnabel, who recorded them for the British recording label His Master's Voice (HMV) between 1932 and 1935. Bonn 1770 - Vienna 1827 . Beethoven's complete set of 32 Piano Sonatas. But did you know that it's possible to objectively rank them from worst to best? Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas are considered probably his greatest piano sonatas. It’s not just the fashionable pianists like Ashkenazy, Brendel or Barenboim who are illuminating here, but little known ones like Bernard Roberts or the top choice of many critics, Richard Goode. That's this one. Okay, Beethoven was just messing with us, right?  A number of other pianists have emulated this feat, including Artur Schnabel (the first since Bülow to play the complete cycle in concert from memory), Roger Woodward and Michael Houstoun, who has performed the full sonata cycle twice; first at the age of 40, and then 20 years later in 2013. Beethoven Piano Sonatas: a buyer's guide Discover the best recordings of Beethoven's incredible piano sonatas on CD - click on the links to preview and buy them. And the terrain doesn’t come any more mountainous than Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, with the massive Hammerklavier and the final three sonatas glistening peaks of achievement that few others have equalled, and none have surpassed. Beethoven's early sonatas were highly influenced by those of Haydn and Mozart. 78. Like all fledgling ideas, it's a bit awkward here and feels like he's only really beginning to tap the potential for that musical style, particularly in the first movement where there are just too many changes that don't really go anywhere. Plus, the final movement does feel like it goes on a bit too long toward the end, like Beethoven's "Strum und Drang" ran out of "Dampf." A special favourite is the earlier of Wilhelm Kempff’s two cycles, recorded between 1951 and 1956, when this great pianist was at the height of his powers. In all of the thirty-two Beethoven sonatas, there is a technical difficulty but there are also the more elusive interpretative challenges. In a single concert cycle, the whole 32 sonatas were first performed by Hans von Bülow. “Mozart is a garden, Schubert is a forest in light and shade, but Beethoven is a mountain range,” said the great Austrian pianist Artur Schnabel. Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his 32 piano sonatas between 1795 and 1822. It's known as the first obvious use of "Sturm und Drang" in Beethoven's works, where he'd contrast lyrical passages with more violent ones relatively quickly.