Emanuel Ax: Variations – New Sony Classical Release

Emanuel Ax: Variations – New Sony Classical Release

Emanuel Ax: Variations – New Sony Classical Release

Recording Available January 22, 2013
Variations Features Three Works Never Before Recorded By The Pianist

Sony Classical is proud to announce a new recording by pianist Emanuel Ax of four significant sets of Variations by four titanic composers: Haydn, Beethoven, Schumann, and Copland.  Variations is available on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.

One of the best known classical musicians of our time and winner of multiple Grammy awards for both solo and chamber performances, Ax believes that the Variations format is the great composer’s way of showing consummate artistry. “I think people like Beethoven, Haydn, and Schumann show what great compositional virtuosos they are in these pieces.”

The pianist points out that each of these sets of Variations is unusual, “each revolutionary in its own way.” He has also discovered that they go very well together in a concert program. Now, surely to the worldwide delight of fans of virtuoso classical piano performance, he presents them together on a recording as well.

The album features Beethoven’s Variations and Fugue for Piano in E-flat major, Op. 35, commonly known as the Eroica Variations because it’s built partly on the famous theme of the Eroica Symphony. It also includes Haydn’s Andante with Variations in F minor (Hob. XVII:6), also known as the Keyboard Sonata “Un piccolo divertimento.”

The Symphonic Etudes Op. 13 by Robert Schumann, a very difficult piece and a recent addition to the pianist’s repertoire, round out the CD version of the release. However, a bonus track of the great American composer Aaron Copland’s Piano Variations is also included with purchase of a digital download only. Mr. Ax describes this less well known piece as “very ‘in your face’ – there are beautiful things in it and it’s a very powerful piece, and [in the opening] it’s a real expression of the piano as a percussion instrument.”

In the pianist’s life, says Mr. Ax, “we’re so centered on the sonata style. What’s nice sometimes is to look at other ways to deal with structure, other ways to deal with expression, other ways to deal with forming your thoughts.” As a great and longtime admirer of the Variations idea, he is perhaps the ideal interpreter to bring this love to life in the recording studio. These pieces also represent the planned repertoire of some of his upcoming solo performances. (In addition, Mr. Ax is a featured soloist with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center for much of its 2012-2013 season.)

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NY Phiharmonic

Artist-in-Residence: Emanuel Ax 2012/13.
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Next Concerts

    December 6, 2019

    Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra – Chamber Music

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    Emanuel Ax and Lahav Shani, piano

    BARTOK: Romanian Folk Dances for piano and violin
    BARTOK: Contrasts for violin, clarinet and piano, BB.116, Sz.111
    BRAHMS: Haydn Variations Op. 56b

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    Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

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    with Lahav Shani, conductor

    BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

    December 7, 2019

    Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

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    with Lahav Shani, conductor

    BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

    December 8, 2019

    Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

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    with Lahav Shani, conductor

    BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

    December 12, 2019

    Hessischer Rundfunk

    Alte Oper Frankfurt

    with David Afkham, conductor

    MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K466

     

    December 13, 2019

    Hessischer Rundfunk

    Alte Oper Frankfurt

    with David Afkham, conductor

    MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K466

    December 16, 2019

    Kansas City Symphony

    Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

    Michael Stern, conductor
    Yo-Yo Ma, cello
    Pamela Frank, violin
    Emanuel Ax, piano

    BEETHOVEN: Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano in C Major, Op. 56

    January 6, 2020

    Chamber Music in Napa Valley

    First United Methodist Church, Napa

    ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM
    Bagatelle in A Minor, WoO 59, “Für Elise”
    Piano Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 2, No. 2
    Six Variations on an Original Theme in F Major, Op. 34
    Piano Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 2, No. 1
    Five Variations on “Rule Britannia” in D Major
    Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2, No. 3

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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
Brahms: Music For 2 Pianos
Haydn: Piano Sonatas
Liszt: Piano Sonata in B Minor
Mendelssohn: Piano Trios
Strauss: Enoch Arden

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Extract from masterclass given by Emanuel Ax on Beethoven Piano Sonatas and Variations. The student is Nicolas Van Poucke. The full masterclass is available on DVD from www.masterclassfoundation.org

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