Haydn: Piano Sonata No. 59; Piano Sonata No. 33; Brahms: Four Piano Pieves, Op. 119; Schubert: Piano Sonata, D. 960

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
This disc contains a live recital, given at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on January 4, 1969. It was a fine concert, perhaps a "legend" as the packaging proclaims, but there may have been another motivation for issuing it: a note in the booklet reads, "In Memoriam, Tatiana Firkusný, 8 January 1945-11 January 2005." Fans of this Czech pianist will find works he never recorded in the studio, but it also makes a good introduction to his style for the general listener -- all the music is mainstream Central European repertory that was straight up Firkusný's alley even if he never recorded it on LP. Firkusný's style was influenced by that of the great Polish-Jewish Beethoven ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
This disc contains a live recital, given at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on January 4, 1969. It was a fine concert, perhaps a "legend" as the packaging proclaims, but there may have been another motivation for issuing it: a note in the booklet reads, "In Memoriam, Tatiana Firkusný, 8 January 1945-11 January 2005." Fans of this Czech pianist will find works he never recorded in the studio, but it also makes a good introduction to his style for the general listener -- all the music is mainstream Central European repertory that was straight up Firkusný's alley even if he never recorded it on LP. Firkusný's style was influenced by that of the great Polish-Jewish Beethoven specialist Artur Schnabel, and one might even say that he captured the best aspects of Schnabel's art while avoiding the technical defects. Even the famed remark of Schnabel's teacher -- that he would never be a pianist but rather was a musician -- found an echo in Firkusný's description of himself as a music-maker rather than a pianist. One hears Schnabel's influence in Firkusný's carefully considered passagework, which always is made subservient to the overall musical impact. All the music on this disc is compelling, and the coughing, sniffling London audience was instantly galvanized to enthusiastic applause at the end of each piece. Perhaps it is Firkusný's Haydn, however, that is most unusual, especially the opening "Piano Sonata in E flat major, Hob. 16/49." Firkusný had a very Eastern European perspective on this work, and it was all to the good -- his reading brings out a vigorous, impish quality that no other performer has divined quite so well. The smooth grace of the Minuet finale is marvelous. Firkusný's Brahms "Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119," are murky and moody. The big Schubert "Piano Sonata in B flat major, D. 960," which closes the program, is very warmly played but has a tendency to atomize into what seem like a group of individual impromptus, especially since Firkusný takes some of the music at a fast clip and plays it without repeats -- subtle relationships don't have a chance to sink in. The fast-moving finale contradicts Schubert's ma non troppo tempo marking but is extremely infectious. The program as a whole is satisfying and surpassingly musical from start to finish, and it will leave some listeners wondering why one doesn't hear concerts like this much anymore.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/27/2006
  • Label: Bbc Legends
  • UPC: 684911417326
  • Catalog Number: 4173
  • Sales rank: 200,747

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–3 Keyboard Sonata in E flat major, H. 16/49 - Franz Joseph Haydn & Rudolf Firkusny (16:53)
    Composed byFranz Joseph Haydn
    1. 1 Allegro
    2. 2 Adagio e cantabile
    3. 3 Tempo di Minuet
  2. 4–6 Keyboard Sonata in C minor, H. 16/20 - Franz Joseph Haydn & Rudolf Firkusny (15:06)
    Composed byFranz Joseph Haydn
    1. 4 (Allegro) Moderato
    2. 5 Andante con moto
    3. 6 (Finale) Allegro
  3. 7–10 Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 119 - Johannes Brahms & Rudolf Firkusny (14:13)
    Composed byJohannes Brahms
    1. 7No. 1. Intermezzo in B minor. Adagio
    2. 8No. 2. Intermezzo in E minor. Andantino un poco agitato
    3. 9No. 3. Intermezzo in C major. Grazioso e giocoso
    4. 10No. 4. Rhapsodie in E flat major. Allegro risoluto
  4. 11–14 Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D. 960 - Franz Schubert & Rudolf Firkusny (32:42)
    Composed byFranz Schubert
    1. 11 Molto moderato
    2. 12 Andante sostenuto
    3. 13 Scherzo. Allegro vivace - Trio
    4. 14 Allegro ma non troppo
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Rudolf Firkusny Primary Artist
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