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20th Century Piano Sonatas - Berg, Schoenberg, Etc


Release Date: 07/31/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570401   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alban BergPaul HindemithArnold SchoenbergKarl Amadeus Hartmann
Performer:  Allison Brewster Franzetti
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Alban Berg's single-movement Op. 1 Piano Sonata certainly doesn't lack for excellent recordings. However, Allison Brewster Franzetti's impassioned and persuasive performance easily holds its own in the select company of Gould, Perahia, Aimard, and Uchida. The music's rhetorical disquiet totally justifies the organic ebb and flow engendered by Franzetti's tempo fluctuations. At the same time, she brings colorful textural diversity and character to Berg's complex polyphony, to the effect that even the development section's gnarly climaxes ring out with utter clarity.

To some ears the overly resonant sonics might seem too plush to suit the Hindemith Second Sonata's lean, astringent keyboard writing, thereby diminishing the
Read more biting, woodwind-like flavor the composer often implies. Still, in Franzetti's hands, the Scherzo gains welcome warmth and lilt, while the third movement's slow introduction retains its solemnity without dragging. I find the Hartmann sonata's unadventurous rhythmic trajectory and not-quite-tonal/not-quite-dissonant harmonic language rather grey and charmless, notwithstanding the obvious care and commitment with which Franzetti imbues every bar.

Expose the three 1894 Schoenberg pieces to your music loving friends in a blind listening test. They're guaranteed to tear their hair out trying to identify just who concocted this ersatz Beethoven/Brahms/Dvorak stew. At least it benefits from Franzetti's full-bodied, generous interpretation. All told, a fascinating and worthwhile release.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano, Op. 1 by Alban Berg
Performer:  Allison Brewster Franzetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1907-08; Austria 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, California 
Length: 10 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, California (11/15/2004 - 11/16/2004) 
2.
Sonatas (3) for Piano: no 2 in G major by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Allison Brewster Franzetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Germany 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, California 
Length: 12 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, California (11/15/2004 - 11/16/2004) 
3.
Pieces (3) for Piano by Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Allison Brewster Franzetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; Berlin, Germany 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, California 
Length: 10 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, California (11/15/2004 - 11/16/2004) 
4.
Sonata for Piano no 2 "27 April 1945" by Karl Amadeus Hartmann
Performer:  Allison Brewster Franzetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; Germany 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, California 
Length: 31 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Notes: Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, California (11/15/2004 - 11/16/2004) 

Sound Samples

Piano Sonata, Op. 1
Piano Sonata No. 2 in G major*: I. Massig schnell
Piano Sonata No. 2 in G major*: II. Lebhaft
Piano Sonata No. 2 in G major*: III. Sehr langsam - Rondo: Bewegt
3 Klavierstucke, Op. 11: I. Andantino
3 Klavierstucke, Op. 11: II. Andantino grazioso
3 Klavierstucke, Op. 11: III. Presto
Piano Sonata, "den 27. April 1945": I. Bewegt
Piano Sonata, "den 27. April 1945": II. Scherzo: Presto assai
Piano Sonata, "den 27. April 1945": III. Marcia funebre: Lento
Piano Sonata, "den 27. April 1945": IV. Allegro risoluto (1st version)
Piano Sonata, "den 27. April 1945": IV. Allegro furioso (2nd version)

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