What an impossible task-to select for this recording just three out of Beethoven's extraordinary body of piano sonatas! I've settled on three from different periods of his life, both to demonstrate the striking originality of his output and to illustrate how the challenges of his difficult life and health are reflected in his music.
These sonatas express so excitingly the elemental power of Beethoven's music and its impact on the human psyche. The three Sonatas are perfect examples of how Beethoven broke the rules of composition that preceded him, establishing his own trademark style.Loud, soft; fast, slow; dramatic key changes; silences ... harmonically daring, provocative, surprising.
The uncompromising emotion and energy in Beethoven's music, combined with his propensity to break the compositional 'rules' of the day, is what leads to the visceral thrill these sonatas provide.
PASSION is the word most associated with Beethoven and, ultimately, the only thing that really mattered to him was his music. For that reason, perhaps, the best way to listen to these sonatas is to allow yourself to be drawn into the music, and to beswept along by the emotion, to share in Beethoven’s passion, and to be consumed by it! Virginia Black.
Virginia made her concert debut at the age of 17, playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.3 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. After studying piano and harpsichord at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM), she made her debut as a solo recitalist at Wigmore Hall, London and has given numerous performances on the Southbank and major music venues worldwide. In addition to pursuing a busy international concert schedule, she has made recordings for radio and television around the world and, in England, has been featured as 'Artist of the Week' on BBC Radio 3.
Her library of CD recordings has been recognised through Editor's choice in Gramophone and Critics Choice in Classic CD.
"... a communicative artist, extrovert, colourful, spontaneous but with a deep sense of poetry."-Gramophone