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Beethoven: 32 Piano Sonatas / Backhaus


Release Date: 02/14/2006 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 4757198   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus
Number of Discs: 8 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The great German pianist Wilhelm Backhaus was born in Leipzig on 26 March 1884, and died at Villach on 5 July 1969.

His early studies were in Leipzig and at Frankfurt (where he was a pupil of the legendary d’Albert) and in the early years of the twentieth century he began a career as a travelling virtuoso. He travelled extensively and carried on performing until almost the very end of his life.

Backhaus was one of the great exponents of the Classical and Romantic repertory and his performances had an integrity that eschewed any unnecessary display and flamboyance; his concern was to give the most direct interpretation of what the composer wishes and the structure and architecture of his chosen repertory was
Read more paramount. Backhaus recorded extensively for Decca throughout the 1950s and 1960s and recorded works by Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Schumann. His complete cycle of Beethoven Sonatas occupied him throughout the 1950s and 1960s and is regarded by many as his greatest achievement, and the cycle is justly recognised as one of the great recorded cycles. It has not been available on CD for some years now and is reissued in response to repeated requests to make it available again.

R E V I E W S:

"As a young man, the German pianist Wilhelm Backhaus was personally acquainted with Brahms and Grieg. Indeed, he was the first to record Grieg's 'Piano Concerto', in a recording career that began in 1907 and lasted more than 60 years.
Listening to performances recorded here over 17 years, what is evident is the knowledge he brings to his playing: even when the listener is brought up short by an absolutely personal use of dynamic or tempo, bearing little relation to Beethoven's markings, it sounds thought-through, even justified.
The sheer quality and idiosyncrasy of the performances, and the constant surprises, make this boxed set a listening pleasure."
- Alexander Bryce, Scotland on Sunday
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Works on This Recording

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

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