WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Beethoven: The Complete Piano Sonatas / Francois-Frederic Guy

Beethoven / Guy,Francois-frederic
Release Date: 11/19/2013 
Label:  Zig Zag   Catalog #: 333   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy
Number of Discs: 9 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Between December 2009 and April 2012 François-Frédéric Guy performed all 32 Beethoven sonatas live at the Arsenal de Metz in Monte Carlo, all of which were released in three multi-disc sets, now brought together on nine CDs. Notwithstanding his wolfish beard and frizzled hair on the front cover photo, Guy’s Beethoven often is intimately scaled and soft-grained, although he certainly can roar when so inclined.

Many of the early works benefit from Guy’s witty timing, ideal tempos, and lyric warmth; listen to the Op. 14 No. 2 finale’s upward scales, the seemingly offhanded simplicity of the two Op. 49 works, or the Op. 2 No. 3 first movement’s effectively suspenseful modifications of pulse. Op. 22’s
Read more rollicking first movement is fleet and pointed, in contrast to Guy’s relatively wilting way with the Rondo. Sometimes Guy will begin a movement slowly and work his way into a basic tempo, a trait that’s anathema to Schnabel but typical of Backhaus (Op. 7’s Rondo, for example); at other times he may speed up for dramatic effect as he does in the chordal crescendos of the “Appassionata” first movement and in the coda’s final measures.

By contrast, Guy’s rock-steady rhythm and excellent differentiation of legato and detached phrases makes his slowly paced “Pathétique” Adagio cantabile utterly mesmerizing. Likewise, the first two sonatas’ opening movements seem sedate and uneventful at first, yet the exposition repeats’ subtle changes in voicing and emphasis draw you in. The three Op. 31 sonatas find Guy on his best form (No. 3’s lightning fast and superbly controlled finale, for instance.) Among the late sonatas, Op. 109 and 106 hold particular interest in how they compare to Guy’s earlier recorded versions. Op. 109’s Prestissimo is much steadier and focused than in the pianist’s studio Harmonia Mundi version, while the third-movement variations are far more unified and nuanced.

Compared to his two previous “Hammerklavier” recordings, Guy’s live version reveals certain characteristics that have grown mannered over time, like the exaggerated slowing down just before the alternating upward broken fifths and sixths that lead into the first-movement recapitulation. Yet the Adagio sostenuto scores over its predecessors for expressive economy and tautness of line. If Guy’s conceptions don’t quite match the consistency of like-minded interpretations such as those in Rudolf Buchbinder’s live RCA remakes, or the leaner, more incisive Stewart Goodyear cycle among recent contenders, his strongest work deserves room in any serious Beethoven collection.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano no 9 in E major, Op. 14 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1798; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Sonata for Piano no 8 in C minor, Op. 13 "Pathétique" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Sonata for Piano no 7 in D major, Op. 10 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Sonata for Piano no 6 in F major, Op. 10 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796-1797; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Sonata for Piano no 5 in C minor, Op. 10 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795-1797; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Sonata for Piano no 4 in E flat major, Op. 7 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796-1797; Vienna, Austria 
7.
Sonata for Piano no 32 in C minor, Op. 111 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1821-1822; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Sonata for Piano no 31 in A flat major, Op. 110 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1821-1822; Vienna, Austria 
9.
Sonata for Piano no 30 in E major, Op. 109 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1820; Vienna, Austria 
10.
Sonata for Piano no 3 in C major, Op. 2 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1794-1795; Vienna, Austria 
11.
Sonata for Piano no 29 in B flat major, Op. 106 "Hammerklavier" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1817-1818; Vienna, Austria 
12.
Sonata for Piano no 28 in A major, Op. 101 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
13.
Sonata for Piano no 27 in E minor, Op. 90 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1814; Vienna, Austria 
14.
Sonata for Piano no 26 in E flat major, Op. 81a "Les Adieux" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809-1810; Vienna, Austria 
15.
Sonata for Piano no 25 in G major, Op. 79 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
16.
Sonata for Piano no 24 in F sharp major, Op. 78 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
17.
Sonata for Piano no 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804-1805; Vienna, Austria 
18.
Sonata for Piano no 22 in F major, Op. 54 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804; Vienna, Austria 
19.
Sonata for Piano no 21 in C major, Op. 53 "Waldstein" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1803-1804; Vienna, Austria 
20.
Sonata for Piano no 20 in G major, Op. 49 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796; Vienna, Austria 
21.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in A major, Op. 2 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1794-1795; Vienna, Austria 
22.
Sonata for Piano no 19 in G minor, Op. 49 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797; Vienna, Austria 
23.
Sonata for Piano no 18 in E flat major, Op. 31 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802; Vienna, Austria 
24.
Sonata for Piano no 17 in D minor, Op. 31 no 2 "Tempest" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802; Vienna, Austria 
25.
Sonata for Piano no 16 in G major, Op. 31 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802; Vienna, Austria 
26.
Sonata for Piano no 15 in D major, Op. 28 "Pastoral" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria 
27.
Sonata for Piano no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 no 2 "Moonlight" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria 
28.
Sonata for Piano no 13 in E flat major, Op. 27 no 1 "Quasi una fantasia" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800-1801; Vienna, Austria 
29.
Sonata for Piano no 12 in A flat major, Op. 26 "Funeral March" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800-1801; Vienna, Austria 
30.
Sonata for Piano no 11 in B flat major, Op. 22 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
31.
Sonata for Piano no 10 in G major, Op. 14 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1799; Vienna, Austria 
32.
Sonata for Piano no 1 in F minor, Op. 2 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  François-Frédéric Guy (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1793-1795; Vienna, Austria 

Sound Samples

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2, "Moonlight": I. Adagio sostenuto
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2, "Moonlight": II. Allegretto
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2, "Moonlight": III. Presto agitato
Piano Sonata No. 9 in E Major, Op. 14, No. 1: I. Allegro
Piano Sonata No. 9 in E Major, Op. 14, No. 1: II. Allegretto
Piano Sonata No. 9 in E Major, Op. 14, No. 1: III. Rondo: Allegro comodo
Piano Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 14, No. 2: I. Allegro
Piano Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 14, No. 2: II. Andante
Piano Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 14, No. 2: III. Scherzo: Allegro assai
Piano Sonata No. 11 in B-Flat Major, Op. 22: I. Allegro con brio
Piano Sonata No. 11 in B-Flat Major, Op. 22: II. Adagio con molto espressione
Piano Sonata No. 11 in B-Flat Major, Op. 22: III. Minuetto
Piano Sonata No. 11 in B-Flat Major, Op. 22: IV. Rondo: Allegretto
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13, "Pathetique": I. Grave - Allegro di molto e con brio
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13, "Pathetique": II. Adagio cantabile
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13, "Pathetique": III. Rondo: Allegro
Piano Sonata No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 10, No. 1: I. Molto allegro e con brio
Piano Sonata No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 10, No. 1: II. Adagio molto
Piano Sonata No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 10, No. 1: III. Finale: Prestissimo
Piano Sonata No. 6 in F Major, Op. 10, No. 2: I. Allegro
Piano Sonata No. 6 in F Major, Op. 10, No. 2: II. Allegretto
Piano Sonata No. 6 in F Major, Op. 10, No. 2: III. Finale: Presto
Piano Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3: I. Presto
Piano Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3: II. Largo e mesto
Piano Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3: III. Menuetto - Trio - Menuetto: Allegro
Piano Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3: IV. Rondo: Allegro

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In