Hy Friends, It is with great pleasure that I will present to you an almost complete series of the Beethoven piano sonatas, performed by the great pianist Walter Gieseking. Walter Gieseking is mainly recognized for his renditions of Mozart, Debussy and Ravel. However, he was known to perform the Beethoven thirty-two piano sonatas already by heart at the age of twenty (we correct). The present recordings date from 1949 to 1950. Gieseking was at that time over fifty years old. He had become very skilful in performing sonatas. I would like to emphasize an important point here: the audible technical imperfections are due to the age of these recordings, which don’t correspond to today’s standards of digital transcription. For some they are full of charm with a true stamp of authenticity, but many other listeners will listen to these recordings accepting their technical imperfections since they are worth taking heed to. This mode of interpreting Beethoven stems from a tradition, from an uninterrupted education that started in Beethoven’s time. Gieseking’s teachers grew up in this tradition which reaches back to the eighteenth and nineteenth century, and Gieseking himself transmitted it to us. To make you realize this, let us listen to the first measures of the first movement (allegro) of the Opus 2 # 1. It is utterly brilliant, isn’t it? A simple reading, posed, a technique that pours out straight from the source, a very classical interpretation. However, Gieseking knows how to keep his power and his extraordinary technical skills and withhold them until he lets run at the proper time. Let’s listen to an extract of the Arietta Opus 111. It is all quite impressive. In the passage of the Arietta that we just listened to, the rhythm is based on the demisemiquaver, of which there are twelve per measure. In addition, we have twelve hemidemisemiquaver notes which are played on the offbeat. It is quite a tough passage to perform at the real speed while holding up an expressive musical phrasing. To sum it up, in some passages Beethoven wants the sound to be fortified for an entire note or musical chord. Gieseking’s skill in all these difficulties confirms his Apollonian mastery of the tool. For professor Fabre, whom you already know, Gieseking is THE Apollonian pianist. This definition which refers to Apollo, is characterized by the order, the beat and serenity as opposed to Dionysiac which reflects an exuberant passion. Admittedly, vehemence is a characteristic feature of Beethoven, the man, and asserts itself also in his music. Nevertheless, Beethoven remains essentially a classical composer by virtue of his heritage. Therefore, Gieseking renounces to any kind of edgy emotion, but his manner of animating the melodic phrases gives his performance a profoundly human accent and dimension. It is full of nobility and distinction. Do enjoy listening to the Apollo of the Piano, Walter Gieseking, who at the time of this recording had reached the summit of his art. We wish you a wonderful listening session!

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. GIESEKING PLAY BEETHOVEN / NEW MASTERING AND PRESENTATION

    Discover Classical Music : Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas with Professor FABRE (CMRR 2.0)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHtbNSfqVPU&list=PL3UZpQL9LIxNoH7iFLziFtIWA66D11QB2&index=2

    Educational Presentation of the Recording with my french accent / English Subtitles (00:00)

    Piano Sonata #1 In F Minor, Op. 2/1 – 1. Allegro (06:08)
    Piano Sonata #1 In F Minor, Op. 2/1 – 2. Adagio (09:33)
    Piano Sonata #1 In F Minor, Op. 2/1 – 3. Menuetto: Allegretto (14:42)
    Piano Sonata #1 In F Minor, Op. 2/1 – 4. Prestissimo (17:27)

    Piano Sonata #2 In A, Op. 2/2 – 1. Allegro Vivace (21:04)
    Piano Sonata #2 In A, Op. 2/2 – 2. Largo Appassionato (26:03)
    Piano Sonata #2 In A, Op. 2/2 – 3. Scherzo: Allegretto (32:49)
    Piano Sonata #2 In A, Op. 2/2 – 4. Rondo: Grazioso (35:44)

    Piano Sonata #3 In C, Op. 2/3 – 1. Allegro Con Brio (41:38)
    Piano Sonata #3 In C, Op. 2/3 – 2. Adagio (48:59)
    Piano Sonata #3 In C, Op. 2/3 – 3. Scherzo: Allegro (55:23)
    Piano Sonata #3 In C, Op. 2/3 – 4. Allegro Assai (58:17)

    Piano Sonata #6 In F, Op. 10/2 – 1. Allegro (1:03:04)
    Piano Sonata #6 In F, Op. 10/2 – 2. Allegretto (1:08:02)
    Piano Sonata #6 In F, Op. 10/2 – 3. Presto (1:11:24)

    Piano Sonata #8 In C Minor, Op. 13, "Pathétique"
    1. Grave – Allegro Di Molto E Con Brio (1:15:00)
    2. Adagio Cantabile (1:21:09) 3. Rondo: Allegro (1:26:31)

    Piano Sonata #9 in E major, Op. 14/1 : I. Allegro (1:30:21)
    Piano Sonata #9 In E major, Op. 14/1 : II. Allegretto (1:36:49)
    Piano Sonata #9 in E major, Op. 14/1 : III. Rondo – Allegro comodo (1:40:14)

    Piano Sonata #10 in G major, Op. 14/2 : I. Allegro (1:43:20)
    Piano Sonata #10 In G major, Op. 14/2 : II. Andante (1:49:09)
    Piano Sonata #10 in G major, Op. 14/2 : III. Scherzo – Allegro assai (1:54:23)

    Piano Sonata #11 in B flat major, Op. 22 "Grande Sonate"
    I. Allegro con brio (1:57:30) ; II. Adagio Con Molta Espressione (2:02:24)
    III. Minuetto (2:10:24) ; IV. Rondo – Allegretto (2:13:25)

    Piano Sonata #12 In A Flat, Op. 26, "Funeral March"
    1. Andante Con Variazioni (2:18:56) ; 2. Scherzo: Allegro Molto (2:26:02)
    3. Marcia Funebre Sulla Morte D’Un Eroe (2:28:16) ; 4. Allegro (2:33:56)

    Piano Sonata #13 In E Flat, Op.27/1, "Sonata Quasi Una Fantasia"
    1. Andante, Allegro, Andante (2:36:38) ; 2. Allegro Molte E Vivace (2:39:06)
    3. Adagio Con Espressione (2:41:43) ; 4. Allegro Vivace (2:44:09)

    Piano Sonata #14 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 27/2, "Moonlight"
    1. Adagio Sostenuto (2:49:07) ; 2. Allegretto (2:54:45)
    3. Presto Agitato (2:56:51)

    Piano Sonata #15 In D, Op. 28, "Pastoral"
    1. Allegro (3:01:43) ; 2. Andante (3:08:05)
    3. Scherzo : Allegro Vivace (3:14:08)
    4. Rondo: Allegro Ma Non Troppo (3:16:19)

    Piano Sonata #16 In G, Op. 31/1 – 1. Allegro Vivace (3:20:55)
    Piano Sonata #16 In G, Op. 31/1 – 2. Adagio Grazioso (3:27:12)
    Piano Sonata #16 In G, Op. 31/1 – 3. Rondo: Allegretto, Adagio, Presto (3:35:59)

    Piano Sonata #17 In D Minor, Op. 31/2, "Tempest" – 1. Largo, Allegro (3:41:38)
    Piano Sonata #17 In D Minor, Op. 31/2, "Tempest" – 2. Adagio (3:48:12)
    Piano Sonata #17 In D Minor, Op. 31/2, "Tempest" – 3. Allegretto (3:56:10)

    Piano Sonata #18 In E Flat, Op. 31/3, "The Hunt"
    1. Allegro (4:00:43) ; 2. Scherzo: Allegretto Vivace (4:06:58)
    3. Menuetto: Moderato Grazioso (4:11:54) ; 4. Presto Con Fuoco (4:15:31)

    Piano Sonata #19 In G Minor, Op. 49/1 – 1. Andante (4:19:32)
    Piano Sonata #19 In G Minor, Op. 49/1 – 2. Rondo: Allegro (4:23:56)

    Piano Sonata #21 In C, Op. 53, "Waldstein"
    1. Allegro Con Brio (4:27:01) ; 2. Introduzione: Adagio Molto (4:34:20)
    3. Rondo: Allegretto Moderato, Prestissimo (4:39:28)

    Piano Sonata #23 In F Minor, Op. 57, "Appassionata"
    1. Allegro Assai (4:45:53) ; 2. Andante Con Moto (4:54:18)
    3. Allegro Ma Non Troppo (5:00:34)

    Piano Sonata #24 In F Sharp Major, Op. 78 "For Therese"
    1. Adagio Cantabile-Allegro Ma Non Troppo (5:05:12)
    2. Allegro Vivace (5:11:56)

    Piano Sonata #25 In G Major, Op. 79 1. Presto Alla Tedesca (5:14:59)
    Piano Sonata #25 In G Major, Op. 79 2. Andante (5:19:06)
    Piano Sonata #25 In G Major, Op. 79 3. Vivace (5:21:19)

    Piano Sonata #26 In E Flat Major, Op.81A "Les Adieux"
    1. Das Lebewohl – Adagio-Allegro (5:23:22)
    2. Abwesenheit – Andante Espressivo (5:29:21)
    3. Das Wiedersehn – Vivacissimamente (5:32:13)

    Piano Sonata #27 In E Minor, Op. 90
    1. Mit Lebhaftigenkeit Und Durchaus Mit Empfindung Und Ausdruck (5:35:52)
    2. Nicht Zu Geschwind Und Sehr Singbar Vorgetragen (5:41:00)

    Piano Sonata #28 In A Major, Op.101
    1. Allegretto, ma non troppo – Etwas lebhaft und mit der innigsten Empfindung (5:48:30)
    2. Vivace alla marcia – Lebhaft. Marschmassig (5:52:19)
    3. Adagio ma non troppo, con alla affeto – Langsam und sehnsuchtsvoll (5:57:28)
    4. Tempo del primo pezzo.. Allegro risoluto…

    Piano Sonata #29 In B Flat Major, Op.106 « Hammerklavier »
    1. Allegro (6:06:16) ; 2. Scherzo – Assai vivace (6:15:23)
    3. Adagio sostenuto, Appassionato e con molto sentimento (6:17:46)
    4. Largo – Allegro risoluto (6:32:45)

    Piano Sonata #30 In E, Op. 109 – 1. Vivace Ma Non Troppo, Adagio Espressivo (6:42:48)
    Piano Sonata #30 In E, Op. 109 – 2. Prestissimo (6:46:21)
    Piano Sonata #30 In E, Op. 109 – 3. Gesangvoll, Mit Innigster Empfindung (6:48:36)

    Piano Sonata #31 In A Flat, Op. 110 – 1. Moderato Cantabile, Molto Espressivo (6:59:03)
    Piano Sonata #31 In A Flat, Op. 110 – 2. Allegro Molto (7:04:29)
    Piano Sonata #31 In A Flat, Op. 110 – 3. Adagio Ma Non Troppo (7:06:12)
    Piano Sonata #31 In A Flat, Op. 110 – 4. Fuga: Allegro Ma Non Troppo (7:09:06)

    Piano Sonata #32 In C Minor, Op. 111
    1. Maestoso, Allegro Con Brio Appassionato (7:15:20)
    2. Arietta: Adagio Molto Semplice E Cantabile (7:21:19)

    Piano : Walter Gieseking
    Recorded in 1949-1950
    New Mastering in 2019 by AB for CMRR

    Ludwig Van Beethoven PLAYLIST (reference recordings)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQRBOr4L-yk&list=PL3UZpQL9LIxOhkdci2M8WKMSVaf9WiF8x&index=2&t=146s

  2. Thank you so much. It is far better to leave the artifacts of age than digitally remove them I feel for in doing so some essence is lost in the emotion of the recording. One soon learns to mentally block out such artifacts I find and simply absorb the performance in its original integrity.

  3. Thankyou ! I greatly appreciated the introduction and the summary view. Indeed Beethoven is in fact a classical composer.I like a bit reserve or is the correct English word "aloofness" ? My English let me a bit down here to express what I mean.

  4. Although the initial presentation is influenced by the presenter's French accent, the messages are quite clear and understandable. The performance by this incomparable virtuoso with his technically perfect and artistically convincing pianism is the eternal paragon of Beethoven's piano sonatas. Thanks for the elaborate and valuable upload!

  5. Extraordinary. Thank you. I was 10 years old when I first heard Gieseking (early 1950s), and listening to him I learnt to play my first Beethoven sonatas. Am very grateful being able to listen again almost as I heard him all those years ago. Thank you again.

  6. Très bonne interprétation, Giesking est trop peu connu, par ailleurs ses Bach sont excellents. Il y a aussi un concerto L'empereur de Beethoven avec Rother qui est une merveille ( je l'ai mis en ligne ).

  7. C'est une sublime version, mais de là à parler d'enregistrement du siècle, c'est sans compter sur Schnabel, Serkin, Arrau, Backhaus, Gulda, Richter Haaser et j'en passe…

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