Colloquially known as “Appassionata”, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 23 was written as the artist’s hearing was in a state of rapid decline. It is one of the three famous piano sontatas of his middle period. At one performance of this dynamic piece, Beethoven is said to have had a technician on hand to remove the broken strings that would accumulate during the piece’s explosive finale.
Beethoven’s early Violin Sonata No. 3 was groundbreaking in changing the balance between the piano and violin to an equal partnership. He explores ways of combining two voices into a coherent unity and dramatic collaboration. This development was uniquely possible as Beethoven was not only a renowned pianist, but also took violin lessons in his youth and later in life.
Beethoven's Fantasia in G Minor, Op. 77 appears to deviate from any form, and musicians refer to it as a "written improvisation". Yet, the piece remains with us long after its performance as if to haunt the listener. In his Fantasy, Beethoven lays open his process of composition before the audience. One hears how the piece searches for themes and harmonies, only to be rejected. At last, a beautiful melody is discovered and presented in a bold and glorious form that could only be Beethoven.
The “Razumovsky” Quartet, Op. 59, No. 3 is one of Beethoven’s most accessible quartets in its resemblance to classical form. He nods to his patron, Count Andreas Razumovsky, the Russian ambassador to Vienna, in his use of several folk melodies, while still maintaining a grand dramatic theatricality.
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Artists: Daniel del Pino (Piano), Irina Muresanu (Violin), Jacqueline Choi (Cello), Noriko Futagami (Viola), Stephanie Chase (Violin)