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

    February 8, 2016

    Rome, Italy

    Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

    Auditorium Parco della Musica

    PROKOFIEV: Sinfonia n. 1 “Classica”
    BEETHOVEN: Concerto per pianoforte n. 2
    BEETHOVEN: Le creature di Prometeo: Ouverture
    SHOSTAKOVICH: Sinfonia n. 9

    February 9, 2016

    Rome, Italy

    Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

    Auditorium Parco della Musica

    PROKOFIEV: Sinfonia n. 1 “Classica”
    BEETHOVEN: Concerto per pianoforte n. 2
    BEETHOVEN: Le creature di Prometeo: Ouverture
    SHOSTAKOVICH: Sinfonia n. 9

    February 18, 2016

    Jerusalem, Isreal

    Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

    ICC International Convention Center

    R. GERHARD: Don Quixote
    FRANCK: Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra
    MOZART: Piano Concerto no. 14 in E-flat major, K. 449
    TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony no. 1 (“Winter Dreams”)

    February 20, 2016

    Tel Aviv, Israel

    Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

    Assia Audirotium, Tel Aviv Museum of ART

    BRAHMS: Trio for piano and strings, op. 8
    SCHUMANN: Piano Quartet in E-flat major, op. 47

    February 21, 2016

    Haifa, Israel

    Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

    Haifa Auditorium

    R. GERHARD: Don Quixote
    FRANCK: Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra
    MOZART: Piano Concerto no. 14 in E-flat major, K. 449
    TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony no. 1 (“Winter Dreams”)

    February 22, 2016

    Tel Aviv, Israel

    Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

    Charles Bronfman Auditorium (Heichal Hatarbut)

    R. GERHARD: Don Quixote
    FRANCK: Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra
    MOZART: Piano Concerto no. 14 in E-flat major, K. 449
    TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony no. 1 (“Winter Dreams”)

    February 23, 2016

    Tel Aviv, Israel

    Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

    Charles Bronfman Auditorium (Heichal Hatarbut)

    FRANCK: Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra
    MOZART: Piano Concerto no. 14 in E-flat major, K. 449
    TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony no. 1 (“Winter Dreams”)

    February 25, 2016

    Haifa, Israel

    Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

    Haifa Auditorium

    R. GERHARD: Don Quixote
    FRANCK: Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra
    MOZART: Piano Concerto no. 14 in E-flat major, K. 449
    TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony no. 1 (“Winter Dreams”)

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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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