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A virtuoso pianist, Ferdinand Ries began composing piano sonatas at a time when the genre was undergoing significant changes from the models of Haydn and Mozart to new developments by Clementi, Beethoven and Hummel.
Ries also pre-figures Schubert’s poignant harmonic language, Mendelssohn’s expressive sweetness and Chopin’s brilliant figurations, notably in The Dream.
Opening with a stately polonaise in rondo form, Ries’s C major Sonata concludes with a thrilling perpetuum mobile finale. In his only named sonata, The Unfortunate, the influence of Beethoven’s Pathétique is apparent.
Ferdinand Ries: Piano Sonata in C major, Op. 9, No. 2
II. Allegro molto vivace
III. Adagio con moto
Ferdinand Ries: Piano Sonata in F sharp minor, Op. 26, "L'infortunee"