Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Ferdinand RIES (1784 - 1838)
Piano Sonata in D, op.9 no.1 (1808) [30:06]
Piano Sonata in A flat, op.141 (1826) [28:35]
Susan Kagan (piano)
rec. 28 December 2008, Beethoven-Saal, Hanover. DDD
NAXOS 8.572299 [58:45]

Experience Classicsonline

This is the fourth volume in the Naxos series of Ries's complete Piano Sonatas and Sonatinas. Volume 1 was reviewed recently on this site. Volume 5 is in fact already available, although only as a download from the Naxos website - listed for physical release in May 2011.

Stylistically, Ries's piano music sits somewhere between that of Hummel, Beethoven and Schubert. In a way, his early death in 1838 marked the end of an era: these four great contributors to the late-Classical/early-Romantic piano sonata had all died within eleven years of each other. Sadly for posterity, not one of them had survived even into their sixties.

Of the four, Ries's name is probably least known - more often than not relegated to a historical footnote as piano pupil, friend, 'agent' and biographer of Beethoven. He is certainly the least recorded by a long chalk. Yet he is by no means a minor talent, at least as far as piano composition is concerned - he wrote prolifically for his instrument to great acclaim in his time, both by the public and his contemporaries. Nor indeed when it came to piano playing, for which he soon established himself as one of the leading performers in Europe - all the more remarkable an achievement in that he had lost an eye to a childhood illness. Indeed, by the time he came to write the A flat Sonata, he had already earned enough money from concert-giving to retire before the age of forty!

Despite its low opus number, Ries was already in his mid-twenties when he wrote the Sonata in D, and it is far from an immature work. It is the fifth of his fourteen solo sonatas, and beside the immediately apparent tributes to Beethoven, there are clear resonances of Haydn, Mozart and Clementi.

Overall, the sonata is sparkling and memorable; a substantial thirty minutes in length, yet time flies by. The second movement provides an unusual example in Ries's piano music of prolonged counterpoint and canon, whereas the third is a set of variations on a jaunty theme, a musical form that pervades his entire corpus. The work is mercurially performed by Kagan.

After eleven years in London, where Ries not only married an Englishwoman, but consolidated both his international renown and his bank account, he returned in 1824 to his homeland in north-western Germany. There he spent the rest of his life in various local musical activities and in composition.

When he wrote the A flat Sonata in 1826, three years had passed since his last work in this genre, and it would be a further six before he composed what would be his final sonata. These other two are available on volume 5, and together with the A flat they represent a mature, Romantic phase in Ries's sonatas. Written for a now extended keyboard, the op. 141 has an altogether grander, more emotional feel about it - looking forward to the Romantic pianism of Chopin, the Schumanns, Mendelssohn and even Brahms. Ironically, it is slightly shorter than the D major work, but melody and drama combine over and over to produce an expressive, lyrical, occasionally virtuosic and frequently beautiful whole, which Kagan plays with typical insight and ease.

Susan Kagan is one of the great authorities on Ries's music - though musicological interest in Ries has to date been as puzzlingly low-key as the musical - and some of her knowledge she shares in a short essay on both the composer and the two sonatas in the booklet, albeit in Naxos's standard minuscule font-size. Furthermore, Kagan has now - almost - recorded all the Ries piano sonatas for Naxos. There are actually three more, for piano four hands, which the label will, I hope, not omit from this long-overdue tribute to a worthy composer.

The works are well-recorded, though the microphones may be a trifle too close for some. The only real pity is that Naxos did not use some of the empty twenty minutes of this rather short disc to give listeners a little more of Ries's highly original piano music - one of his 49 sets of variations or 42 rondos, perhaps!

Byzantion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.