During his all-too-brief life, the Andalusian composer Manuel Blasco de Nebra (1750-1784) left behind a handful of keyboard works that evoke Scarlatti's concise forms and extraordinary powers of invention. Each of the sonatas consists of two movements: an adagio followed by a fast finale. The adagios are stark and full of gut-wrenching, slowly resolving dissonant moments, while unpredictable twists and turns characterize the almost Haydn-esque Allegros and Prestos, as well as the E minor Pastorela Minuet's discursive melodic trajectory. At times Blasco de Nebra foreshadows future soulmates; you might mistake the Op. 1 C minor sonata finale's persistent dotted rhythms for Schumann's. Javier Perianes understands what makes de Nebra tick, borne out by his varied articulations, wide dynamic spectrum, and shapely embellishments.
Guiomar Novaes' life story has been the stuff of legend in the classical world for decades and this CD is clear evidence why none other than Claude Debussy himself helped single her out for greatness as a teenage prodigy. Recorded when she was in her 50's, she's absolutely stupendous, pulling off difficult passage after passage with fabulous effortlessness, her trademark. But forget the 'feminine piano' tag that has been given to her at times, this CD shows she can bring on the 'thunder and lightning' whenever necessary. Thanks to Vox Box Legends for this magnificent digitally mastered 2 CD set, the wonderful sound, and very detailed, extensive liner notes that put most other liner notes to shame.
Beethoven was a revolutionary man living in a revolutionary time. He captured his inner voice—demons and all—and the spirit of his time, and in doing so, created a body of music the likes of which no one had ever before imagined. "An artist must never stand still," he once said. A virtuoso at the keyboard, Beethoven used the piano as his personal musical laboratory, and the piano sonata became, more than any other genre of music, a place where he could experiment with harmony, motivic development, the contextual use of form, and, most important, his developing view of music as a self-expressive art.
A revolutionary man living in a revolutionary time, Beethoven used the piano as his personal musical laboratory. The piano sonata became, more than any other genre of music, a place where he could experiment with harmony, motivic development, the contextual use of form, and, most important, his developing view of music as a self-expressive art. Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas include some of his most popular works as well as some of his most experimental. More than any other of his amazing works, Beethoven's piano sonatas are his personal testament, expressed in his own voice.