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

    April 29, 2015

    New York, NY


    Duo: Emanuel Ax and Simon Keenlyside (baritone)

    Alice Tully Hall, Starr Theater

    Duparc: Phidylé; Le manoir de Rosemonde; Chanson triste
    Debussy: Nuit d’étoiles; Romance: Voici que le printemps; Beau soir; Les angélus; Mandoline
    Poulenc: Le travail du peintre
    Fauré: Mandoline; En sourdine; Green; Aubade; Madrigal; Le papillon et la fleur
    Ravel: Histoires naturelles


    May 2, 2015

    Liberty, MO


    John Gano Memorial Hall at William Jewell College

    Recital Program TBD

    May 7, 2015

    New York, NY


    Alice Tully Hall, Starr Theater

    Bizet: Variations chromatiques
    Rameau: Pièces de clavecin
    Debussy: Estampes; L’isle joyeuse
    Chopin: Four Scherzos

    May 9, 2015

    New York, NY


    Washington Irving High School

    Debussy: Estampes, L 100
    Rameau: Suite of pieces tba
    Debussy: Images, Series 1, L 110
    Debussy: L’isle Joyeuse, L 106
    Chopin: Four Scherzi

    May 14, 2015

    New York, NY


    Carnegie Hall

    Nico MuhlyMixed Messages (NY Premiere)
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
    Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 3

    May 22, 2015



    May 27, 2015

    Dortmund, Germany


    May 29, 2015

    Lyon, France


Audio Player

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


Video Player

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