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Sonatas Op. 78 & Op. 110 | French Suite BWV 816 | Fantasies Op. 116

Georg Kjurdian

Sonatas Op. 78 & Op. 110 | French Suite BWV 816 | Fantasies Op. 116

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917293708
Catnr: CC 72937
Release date: 03 February 2023
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917293708
Catalogue number
CC 72937
Release date
03 February 2023

"This beautifully produced Challenge cd is currently permanently on repeat when I am working from home."

EO-Visie, 09-3-2023
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About the album

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 “tête-à-tête” 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.
Eine Aufnahmesitzung im Klangstudio ist für einen Musiker ein ganz besonderes Erlebnis. Man sitzt in einem riesigen Raum vor einem Flügel und hat seine Noten auf einem Notenständer (oder auf dem Boden verstreut) liegen. In einem winzigen Raum daneben sitzt der Aufnahmetechniker, der den ganzen Prozess leitet und ab und zu einen witzigen, ermutigenden Kommentar über die Lautsprecher einwirft. Draußen ist es Oktober, und in der alten Abtei Marienmünster ist es sehr ruhig. Man kann sich kaum bessere Bedingungen vorstellen, um allein zu sein, sozusagen im Tête-à-tête" mit sich selbst. Und in dieser Situation, die so geeignet ist, das Schönste und Intimste zum Ausdruck zu bringen, fallen mir keine anderen Komponisten ein als die Männer, deren Werke auf dieser CD zu hören sind. Bach, Beethoven und Brahms: die Komponisten, die im deutschen Sprachraum oft als "die drei großen B's" bezeichnet werden. Die Figuren, die mich mein ganzes Leben lang begleitet haben.
Sozusagen die beiden "Außenränder" der CD bilden Beethovens Sonaten op. 78 und op. 110. Die zweisätzige Sonate op. 78 ist das allererste Werk Beethovens, das ich jemals studiert und geprobt habe, damals noch als Schüler an meinem Musikgymnasium in Riga. Heute, nachdem mehr als zehn Jahre vergangen sind, scheint mir Beethovens op. 78 ein noch extremeres Werk zu sein als damals. Es ist ungewöhnlich kurz für eine Sonate, mit einem lyrischen ersten Satz und einem skurrilen zweiten Satz, dessen Humor fast die Grenzen des Anstands überschreitet. Beethovens op. 110 ist ein Werk von völlig entgegengesetzter Natur zu diesem. Man wird in seinen vier Sätzen jeweils mit vier verschiedenen Welten konfrontiert: einer lyrisch-operatischen Welt im ersten, einer grobschlächtigen, ruppigen im zweiten, einer verzweifelt tragischen im dritten und schließlich einer versöhnten Welt im vierten.
Bachs kleines C-Dur-Präludium war das Stück, das meinen endgültigen Entschluss, von Beruf Pianist zu werden, begründet hat. Seine Französische Suite Nr. 5 in G-Dur (BWV 816) ist eine der lebhaftesten und optimistischst klingenden Kompositionen Bachs. Aus heutiger Sicht stellt die Suite eine Art musikalische Reise durch Europa dar. Am Ende dieser Suite hat der Hörer das Gefühl, jeweils einen kurzen Urlaub in mehreren europäischen Ländern verbracht zu haben und dabei die verschiedenen Temperamente, Düfte und Rhythmen der einzelnen Länder kennen gelernt zu haben.
Als ich 16 Jahre alt war, wurde Brahms zu einem meiner größten Lieblinge. Ich hatte eine solche Ehrfurcht vor ihm, dass ich mehrere Jahre lang nicht einmal wagte, seine Stücke zu lernen oder zu spielen. Erst im Alter von 22 Jahren begann ich, sie zu spielen. Die 7 Fantasien (op. 116), die ich auf dieser CD vorstelle, wurden 1892 komponiert. Das bedeutet, dass sie zu jenen späten Werken von Brahms zählen, in denen er viel mehr darauf achtete, in kleineren Formen zu arbeiten, aber auch in diesen Formen eine äußerst intime und intensive Form des Selbstausdrucks zu erreichen. Der hier vorliegende Zyklus besteht aus 3 Capriccios und 4 Intermezzi. Die Capriccios vermitteln einen virtuosen und extrovertierten Eindruck, die Intermezzi dagegen einen Eindruck von extremer Lyrik und Melancholie. Im Falle von op. 116 sind es die 4 Intermezzi, die mit ihrer enormen inneren Kraft und Melancholie den emotionalen Kern des Zyklus bilden.

Artist(s)

Composer(s)

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include nine symphonies, five piano concertos, one violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis, and one opera, Fidelio. Together with Mozart and Haydn, he was part of the First Viennese School.    Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and by composer and conductor Christian Gottlob...
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Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include nine symphonies, five piano concertos, one violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis, and one opera, Fidelio. Together with Mozart and Haydn, he was part of the First Viennese School. Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and by composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe. At the age of 21 he moved to Vienna, where he began studying composition with Joseph Haydn, and gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna until his death. By his late 20s his hearing began to deteriorate, and by the last decade of his life he was almost totally deaf. In 1811 he gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to compose; many of his most admired works come from these last 15 years of his life.

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Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria. His reputation and status as a composer is such that he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the 'Three Bs' of music, a comment originally made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow.   Brahms composed for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, piano, organ, and voice and chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works. He worked with some of the leading performers of his time, including the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim (the three were close friends). Many of his works have become...
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Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria. His reputation and status as a composer is such that he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs" of music, a comment originally made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow.
Brahms composed for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, piano, organ, and voice and chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works. He worked with some of the leading performers of his time, including the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim (the three were close friends). Many of his works have become staples of the modern concert repertoire. Brahms, an uncompromising perfectionist, destroyed some of his works and left others unpublished.
Brahms has been considered, by his contemporaries and by later writers, as both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by subsequent figures as diverse as Arnold Schoenberg and Edward Elgar. The diligent, highly constructed nature of Brahms's works was a starting point and an inspiration for a generation of composers. Within his meticulous structures is embedded, however, a highly romantic nature.

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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.  Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.  
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Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.

Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.


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Press

This beautifully produced Challenge cd is currently permanently on repeat when I am working from home.
EO-Visie, 09-3-2023

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01.
Piano Sonata No. 24 in F-Sharp Major, Op. 78 ‘A Thérèse': I. Adagio cantabile – Allegro ma non troppo
06:59
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Georg Kjurdian
02.
Piano Sonata No. 24 in F-Sharp Major, Op. 78 ‘A Thérèse': II. Allegro vivace
02:20
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Georg Kjurdian
03.
French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: I. Allemande
03:33
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Georg Kjurdian
04.
French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: II. Courante
07:19
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Georg Kjurdian
05.
French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: III. Sarabande
02:36
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Georg Kjurdian
06.
French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: IV. Gavotte
03:51
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Georg Kjurdian
07.
French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: V. Bourée
03:46
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Georg Kjurdian
08.
French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: VI. Loure
04:43
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Georg Kjurdian
09.
French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: VII. Gigue
03:44
(Johann Sebastian Bach) Georg Kjurdian
10.
7 Fantasies Op. 116: I. Capriccio in D Minor
03:15
(Johannes Brahms) Georg Kjurdian
11.
7 Fantasies Op. 116: II. Intermezzo in A Minor
02:43
(Johannes Brahms) Georg Kjurdian
12.
7 Fantasies Op. 116: III. Capriccio in G Minor
05:12
(Johannes Brahms) Georg Kjurdian
13.
7 Fantasies Op. 116: IV. Intermezzo in E Major
02:52
(Johannes Brahms) Georg Kjurdian
14.
7 Fantasies Op. 116: V. Intermezzo in E Minor
03:25
(Johannes Brahms) Georg Kjurdian
15.
7 Fantasies Op. 116: VI. Intermezzo in E Major
01:43
(Johannes Brahms) Georg Kjurdian
16.
7 Fantasies Op. 116: VII. Capriccio in D Minor
04:53
(Johannes Brahms) Georg Kjurdian
17.
Piano Sonata No 31. in A-Flat Major, Op. 110: I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo
01:09
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Georg Kjurdian
18.
Piano Sonata No 31. in A-Flat Major, Op. 110: II. Allegro molto
01:28
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Georg Kjurdian
19.
Piano Sonata No 31. in A-Flat Major, Op. 110: III. Adagio ma non troppo
02:21
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Georg Kjurdian
20.
Piano Sonata No 31. in A-Flat Major, Op. 110: IV. Allegro ma non troppo
03:30
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Georg Kjurdian
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