Notes and Editorial Reviews
This new recording by Jimin Oh-Havenith presents three of Beethoven's most famous, beautiful, but also most demanding piano sonatas. In addition to the dramatic F minor Sonata, Op. 57 ('Appassionata'), the pianist plays the late Sonatas in E major, Op. 109, and C minor, Op. 111, the last of the 32 piano sonatas. The exploration and crossing of boundaries can be seen as a central motif in Beethoven's compositions in general, and in his piano music in particular. While the variation movement in the 'Appassionata' is flanked by rugged outer movements and the ending is a lively dance, Opp. 109 and 111 close with extended, expressive variation movements. In the finale of Op. 109 and in the simple, yet rapturously poignant Arietta of Op. 111 with the metamorphoses in its five variations, Beethoven enters uncharted territory. Here, Beethoven not only reaches expressive extremes, but also challenges his instrument: the keyboard range is stretched to the limit. The listener experiences the end of the C minor Sonata as a farewell to the world and to the genre of the sonata itself, but also as a beginning of something new and unknown. Jimin Oh-Havenith's interpretation convinces through carefully chosen tempi, which facilitate a vivid and transparent presentation of the thematic structures and internal developments. The clarity and expressiveness of her playing provides an immediate experience of Beethoven's inexhaustible imaginative power and the transformation of the poetic idea.