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Weber: Piano Sonatas 3 & 4 / Hamish Milne


Release Date: 05/01/2009 
Label:  Crd Records   Catalog #: 3486   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Hamish Milne
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Hamish Milne here concludes his set of Weber's four piano sonatas with the latter two, making an extremely perceptive and intelligent two-disc set (Nos. 1 and 2 were reviewed by me in September). He opens No. 3 (Allegro feroce) with proper ferociousness, though with a sense of controlled despair: Weber's favourite dotted-note rhythms, so often expressive of gaiety or exuberance, are here urgent, even bitter as Milne snaps them out. His strong left hand answers all Weber's not inconsiderable demands: often there are in these sonatas violent arpeggios or running countermelodies or strongly articulated chords that need careful balance without loss of impetus. The Andante is taken at a nice walking pace, retaining in the calm movement a Read more touch of fantasy, which is released in the dazzling Presto. The Fourth Sonata is more desperate. Weber told Sir Julius Benedict about its background, a portrait of a sufferer whose hopes are constantly dashed; and Milne makes sensitive play with the many variations. Weber works upon the idea of the descending scale—melancholy at the start, violent in the so-called Menuetto (marked Presto vivace ed energico), and played here with sinister undertones in the Chopinesque Trio, in the finale wild and hectic. Weber called it a fantastic Tarantella; it finishes in exhaustion and death.
Milne handles all this excellently. He has the technique to meet Weber's every demand (save occasionally those impossible stretches in left-hand chords, the huge-handed Weber's unfair bequest to posterity), and takes very seriously music that has a wide range of romantic feeling to be explored. The sonatas are not to be written off as uneven: in the hands of a pianist who understands some of the tensions of romanticism, they form a remarkable contemporary document. There is an extra in the shape of the Polacca brillante. Here Weber does make as brilliant a play as he can of his dotted rhythms, also of his love of the precipitous leaps of which, his piano music indicates, he was a master."
John Warrack, The Gramophone Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano no 3 in D minor, J 206/Op. 49 by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Hamish Milne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1992 
Venue:  BBC Pebble Mill, Birmingham 
Length: 30 Minutes 56 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Piano no 4 in E minor, J 287/Op. 70 by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Hamish Milne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819-1822; Dresden, Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1992 
Venue:  BBC Pebble Mill, Birmingham 
Length: 28 Minutes 4 Secs. 
3.
Polacca brillante for Piano, J 268/Op. 72 "L'hilarité" by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Hamish Milne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819; Dresden, Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1992 
Venue:  BBC Pebble Mill, Birmingham 
Length: 5 Minutes 41 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Piano Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 49, J. 206: I. Allegro feroce
Piano Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 49, J. 206: II. Andante con moto
Piano Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 49, J. 206: III. Rondo: Presto con molta vivacita
Ungarische Rhapsodien, S242/R105c: No. 18. Introduction (Adagio)
Polacca brillante in E major, Op. 72, J. 268, "L'hilarite"
Piano Sonata No. 4 in E minor, Op. 70, J. 287: I. Moderato: Con anima
Piano Sonata No. 4 in E minor, Op. 70, J. 287: II. Menuetto: Presto vivace ed energico
Piano Sonata No. 4 in E minor, Op. 70, J. 287: III. Andante quasi allegretto, consolante
Piano Sonata No. 4 in E minor, Op. 70, J. 287: IV. Finale: La Tarantella - Prestissimo

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