Genre(s):
Instrumental
Period(s):
Classical (1750-1830)
Label:
Orfeo
Catalogue No:
C808109L
Barcode:
4011790808925
Release Date:
03/2017
Available Format(s):
CD

Beethoven: Die 32 Klaviersonaten - Eroica-Variationen - Diabelli-Variationen - Sechs Bagatellen

The appearance of a new, complete recording by Friedrich Gulda of the Beethoven sonatas – made before his two previously known cycles – can be regarded as a sensation. If a pianist makes three recordings within twenty years of the most important cycle for his instrument – the 32 piano sonatas by Beethoven – then it would be regarded even by today’s standards as extraordinary. But to have done it in the 1950s and ’60s was a unique achievement. It would be a matter worthy of explanation in the case of any pianist of his rank, but only in the case of Friedrich Gulda is it something utterly comprehensible. This cycle of works is the greatest, most significant of all in both musical and pianistic terms, and while it may have been canonized as the “New Testament” of pianists back in the reverential 19th century, the business of capturing it as a sound recording in the early 1950s was still something brave and new in every way. Schnabel’s recording from the 1930s had the ill luck of being made at the “wrong” time, when the world was busy with greater problems; the same was more or less true of the first recording that Wilhelm Kempff began, but did not complete, during the War. To be sure, the history of sound recording has meant that constant technical advancements (the LP, stereo and digital techniques) have been the prime reason for artists to make lavish, new complete recordings of the same works. All the same, Gulda’s second complete recording, for Decca in London (hitherto believed to be his first) still counts among the most audacious early recording projects of the sonatas in the post-war years. The recording that preceded it, which we have been authorized to publish here, was made for Austrian Radio. Gulda went to the Viennese studios to make it at the turn of 1953/4, at a time when the city was still under the control of the Russian occupying power. This young pianist, born in Vienna on 16 May 1930, had begun his international career in spectacular fashion by winning the Geneva Competition in 1946. He performed Beethoven’s sonatas in the autumn of 1953 in several Austrian cities. He was so “played in” that it seems to have been a mere matter or routine for him to record up to six big sonatas in the space of just two days in the studio. This was an incredible achievement that is in no way diminished by the minimal glitches to be found here. If anything, these inaccuracies enhance the spontaneity and vibrancy of Gulda’s performance, which even at this early stage of his career was distinguished by a headstrong personality and exceptional abilities. His choice of tempi is fearless and stringent, while his high degree of precision is fostered by an economical use of the pedal and a rejection of any arbitrary accelerandi or ritardandi (as for example in the Hammerklavier Sonata). It is such aspects of his playing in particular that reveal a de-Romanticization of Beethoven. This was a process to which Gulda’s interpretations contributed, yet which detracted not a whit from the Master’s Titanic greatness. On the contrary: it is precisely the simplicity and the clarity of Gulda’s Beethoven interpretations – despite their occasional stylized moments – that make evident the humility and modesty of the pianist in the face of the supreme genius of the composer. The Sonatas are here complemented by the Six Bagatelles op. 126, the Diabelli Variations op. 120 and the Eroica Variations op. 35.


Piano Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 2, No. 1
1.     I. Allegro
03:18
2.     II. Adagio
06:02
3.     III. Menuetto: Allegretto
03:24
4.     IV. Prestissimo
04:41
Piano Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 2, No. 2
5.     I. Allegro vivace
06:57
6.     II. Largo appassionato
06:54
7.     III. Scherzo: Allegretto - Trio
03:28
8.     IV. Rondo: Grazioso
06:41
Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2, No. 3
9.     I. Allegro con brio
10:18
10.     II. Adagio
08:05
11.     III. Scherzo: Allegro - Trio
03:08
12.     IV. Allegro assai
05:12
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13, "Pathétique"
13.     I. Grave - Allegro di molto e con brio
08:28
14.     II. Adagio cantabile
05:09
15.     III. Rondo: Allegro
04:27

Disc 2

Piano Sonata No. 4 in E-Flat Major, Op. 7
1.     I. Allegro molto e con brio
07:57
2.     II. Largo con gran espressione
08:21
3.     III. Allegro
04:54
4.     IV. Rondo: Poco allegretto e grazioso
06:13
Piano Sonata No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 10, No. 1
5.     I. Allegro molto e con brio
05:00
6.     II. Adagio molto
07:24
7.     III. Finale: Prestissimo
04:09
Piano Sonata No. 6 in F Major, Op. 10, No. 2
8.     I. Allegro
07:46
9.     II. Allegretto
04:24
10.     III. Presto
03:48
Piano Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3
11.     I. Presto
06:26
12.     II. Largo e mesto
10:26
13.     III. Menuetto: Allegro
02:39
14.     IV. Rondo: Allegro
03:55

Disc 3

Piano Sonata No. 9 in E Major, Op. 14, No. 1
1.     I. Allegro
04:19
2.     II. Allegretto
03:45
3.     III. Rondo: Allegro comodo
03:12
Piano Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 14, No. 2
4.     I. Allegro
06:30
5.     II. Andante
04:05
6.     III. Scherzo: Allegro assai
03:25
Piano Sonata No. 11 in B-Flat Major, Op. 22
7.     I. Allegro con brio
07:28
8.     II. Adagio con molta espressione
08:13
9.     III. Minuetto
03:08
10.     IV. Rondo: Allegretto
05:30
Piano Sonata No. 12 in A-Flat Major, Op. 26, "Sonate mit dem Trauermarsch"
11.     I. Andante con variazioni
09:32
12.     II. Scherzo: Allegro molto
02:36
13.     III. Marcia funebre sulla morte d'un eroe
06:09
14.     IV. Allegro
02:39

Disc 4

Piano Sonata No. 13 in E-Flat Major, Op. 27, No. 1
1.     I. Andante
04:58
2.     II. Allegro molto e vivace
01:59
3.     III. Adagio con espressione
02:37
4.     IV. Allegro vivace
05:13
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2, "Moonlight"
5.     I. Adagio sostenuto
07:09
6.     II. Allegretto
02:23
7.     III. Presto agitato
07:14
Piano Sonata No. 15 in D Major, Op. 28, "Pastoral"
8.     I. Allegro
08:56
9.     II. Andante
05:47
10.     III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
02:10
11.     IV. Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo
04:46
Piano Sonata No. 16 in G Major, Op. 31, No. 1
12.     I. Allegro vivace
05:40
13.     II. Adagio grazioso
08:24
14.     III. Rondo: Allegretto
05:45

Disc 5

Piano Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op. 31, No. 2, "Tempest"
1.     I. Largo - Allegro
07:57
2.     II. Adagio
07:32
3.     III. Allegretto
06:22
Piano Sonata No. 18 in E-Flat Major, Op. 31, No. 3, "La Chasse"
4.     I. Allegro
08:02
5.     II. Scherzo: Allegretto vivace
04:53
6.     III. Menuetto: Moderato e grazioso - Trio
04:02
7.     IV. Presto con fuoco
04:38
Piano Sonata No. 19 in G Minor, Op. 49, No. 1
8.     I. Andante
04:06
9.     II. Rondo: Allegro
03:49
Piano Sonata No. 20 in G Major, Op. 49, No. 2
10.     I. Allegro ma non troppo
04:35
11.     II. Tempo di menuetto
02:53
Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53, "Waldstein"
12.     I. Allegro con brio
11:17
13.     II. Introduzione: Adagio molto
04:19
14.     III. Rondo: Allegretto moderato
07:54

Disc 6

Piano Sonata No. 22 in F Major, Op. 54
1.     I. In tempo d'un menuetto
04:40
2.     II. Allegretto - Più allegro
05:22
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57, "Appassionata"
3.     I. Allegro assai
08:22
4.     II. Andante con moto
05:51
5.     III. Allegro ma non troppo - Presto
04:41
Piano Sonata No. 24 in F-Sharp Major, Op. 78
6.     I. Adagio cantabile - Allegro ma non troppo
06:05
7.     II. Allegro vivace
02:54
Piano Sonata No. 25 in G Major, Op. 79
8.     I. Presto alla tedesca
03:07
9.     II. Andante
02:40
10.     III. Vivace
01:53
Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-Flat Major, Op. 81a, "Les adieux"
11.     I. Das Lebewohl: Adagio - Allegro
05:54
12.     II. Abwesenheit: Andante espressivo
03:21
13.     III. Das Wiedersehn: Vivacissimamente
05:19
Piano Sonata No. 27 in E Minor, Op. 90
14.     I. Mit lebhaftigkeit und durchaus mit Empfindung und Ausdruck
04:41
15.     II. Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorgetragen
06:09

Disc 7

Piano Sonata No. 28 in A Major, Op. 101
1.     I. Etwas lebhaft und mit der innigsten Empfindung
04:01
2.     II. Lebhaft. Marschmassig
05:28
3.     III. Langsam und sehnsuchtsvoll
02:41
4.     IV. Geschwind, doch nicht zu sehr, und mit Entschlossenheit
07:14
Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-Flat Major, Op. 106, "Hammerklavier"
5.     I. Allegro
11:19
6.     II. Scherzo: Assai vivace - Presto - Tempo I
02:49
7.     III. Adagio sostenuto, appassionato e con molto sentimento
14:11
8.     IV. Largo - Allegro risoluto
02:38
6 Bagatelles, Op. 126
9.     No. 1 in G Major
03:00
10.     No. 2 in G Minor
02:59
11.     No. 3 in E-Flat Major
02:26
12.     No. 4 in B Minor
04:10
13.     No. 5 in G Major
02:25
14.     No. 6 in E-Flat Major
04:24

Disc 8

Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109
1.     I. Vivace ma non troppo
03:25
2.     II. Prestissimo
02:32
3.     III. Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung: Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo
11:39
Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-Flat Major, Op. 110
4.     I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo
06:29
5.     II. Allegro molto
02:08
6.     III. Adagio ma non troppo - Fuga: Allegro ma non troppo
10:10
Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111
7.     I. Maestoso - Allegro con brio ed appassionato
08:31
8.     II. Arietta: Adagio molto semplice e cantabile
15:37

Disc 9

15 Variations and a Fugue on an Original Theme in E-Flat Major, Op. 35, "Eroica Variations"
1.     Introduzione col Basso del Tema
03:15
2.     Variation 1
00:32
3.     Variation 2
00:48
4.     Variation 3
00:37
5.     Variation 4
00:36
6.     Variation 5
00:37
7.     Variation 6
00:34
8.     Variation 7
00:37
9.     Variation 8
00:44
10.     Variation 9
00:36
11.     Variation 10
00:33
12.     Variation 11
00:36
13.     Variation 12
00:36
14.     Variation 13
00:36
15.     Variation 14
01:23
16.     Variation 15
04:19
17.     Finale: Allegro con brio -
02:03
18.     Finale: Andante con moto
02:40
33 Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli in C Major, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations"
19.     Theme: Vivace
00:43
20.     Variation 1: Alla Marcia, maestoso
01:33
21.     Variation 2: Poco allegro
01:22
22.     Variation 3: L'istesso tempo
01:25
23.     Variation 4: Un poco più vivace
01:01
24.     Variation 5: Allegro vivace
00:45
25.     Variation 6: Allegro ma non troppo e serioso
01:27
26.     Variation 7: Un poco più allegro
00:51
27.     Variation 8: Poco vivace
01:30
28.     Variation 9: Allegro pesante e risoluto
01:50
29.     Variation 10: Presto
00:32
30.     Variation 11: Allegretto
01:00
31.     Variation 12: Un poco più mosso
00:53
32.     Variation 13: Vivace
00:43
33.     Variation 14: Grave e maestoso
03:25
34.     Variation 15: Presto scherzando
00:35
35.     Variation 16: Allegro
00:50
36.     Variation 17: (Allegro)
00:54
37.     Variation 18: Poco moderato
01:21
38.     Variation 19: Presto
00:56
39.     Variation 20: Andante
01:48
40.     Variation 21: Allegro con brio
01:09
41.     Variation 22: Allegro molto
00:37
42.     Variation 23: Allegro assai
00:49
43.     Variation 24: Fughetta - Andante
01:59
44.     Variation 25: Allegro
00:41
45.     Variation 26: (Piacevole)
01:12
46.     Variation 27: Vivace
01:02
47.     Variation 28: Allegro
00:58
48.     Variation 29: Adagio ma non troppo
01:02
49.     Variation 30: Andante, sempre cantabile
02:03
50.     Variation 31: Largo, molto espressivo
03:59
51.     Variation 32: Fuga - Allegro
02:41
52.     Variation 33: Tempo di Menuetto, moderato
03:05

Total Playing Time: 11:05:03