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Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven’s friend and pupil, was an exceptionally gifted composer whose prophetic piano sonatas foreshadow Schubert’s poignant harmonic language, Mendelssohn’s expressively sweet melodies and Chopin’s brilliant figuration.
While the sonatas and sonatinas on this disc inevitably show the influence of his teacher, Ries also explored the piano’s sonorities and expressive capacities in a uniquely personal fashion, plumbing novel depths of Romanticism in ways that suggested to his contemporaries an ‘Aeolian harp’.
Volume 1, also featuring Susan Kagan, is available on Naxos 8570796.
Ferdinand Ries: Piano Sonata in C major, Op. 1, No. 1
I. Allegro con brio
II. Adagio ma non tanto
III. Minuet and Trio: Moderato
IV. Rondo: Allegretto quasi allegro
Ferdinand Ries: Piano Sonata in A minor, Op. 1, No. 2
I. Allegro molto
II. Andante quasi allegretto scherzando
III. Finale: Allegro
Ferdinand Ries: Piano Sonatina in B flat major, Op. 5, No. 1
I. Allegro ma non troppo
III. Rondo: Allegretto
Ferdinand Ries: Piano Sonatina in F major, Op. 5, No. 2