Mozart, Brahms, Ravel, Prokofieff
The Sonata Form has fascinated - and challenged - all composers since 1750. What makes the multi-movement layout of a Sonata so compelling is the array of required musical contrasts and the possibility for the composer to tell a complete story. No other musical form features as many juxtapositions of tempo, rhythms, tonality and thematic materials: none of the dance forms, nor Suites, nor Rondos, nor Fugues, nor Fantasy, nor Prelude, Etudes, Impromptus can draw the listener into the world of musical dialogue, thesis and antithesis, stress and relieve, climax and resolve like the Sonata. As the outer form mutated from the loose series of dance movements into the typical three or four movement architecture, the "Sonata Allegro Form" emerged as the essential component of any work titled Sonata. It is this movement and its content of contrasting themes which engages the composers into presenting ever new structures using the balanced three part division: "Exposition", "Development Section", and "Recapitulation". At first, dissimilar themes are presented and later "developed" in the middle section: composers show variants of their rhythmical and melodic elements, perhaps combine themes, dissect, embellish, transpose them into different keys, rhythmically lengthen or compress them and transform their elements in order to carry on the musical drama. After this playful, emotional, or intellectual excursion - depending on the composer's style - the thematic material is "recapitulated" for reinforcement of the original tonality and as a temporary resolve to the different themes. Temporary only, as the following movements will showcase new material, but continue the musical plot, which typically ends with an energetic, brilliant finale.
The Repertoire on this CD features contrasting Sonatas by composers of 4 style periods. In addition to the stylistic differences in texture and sound, it is interesting to observe how the outer form changes: from the typical Mozartean 3 movements to the miniaturized Ravel Sonatina, with further compression to just one movement in Prokofiev (who still features elements of 4 movements). yet Brahms, one of the great Romanic composers, expands his Sonata to even 5 movements, I have performed these four Sonatas in many recital programs, and for reasons of an overall balance when listening to these works, the chronological order was discarded.
Notes by Andreas Klein
Andreas Klein's career as soloist has taken him to numerous of the world's most prestigious venues: London's Wigmore Hall, Berlin's Philharmonic Hall, New York's Alice Tully and Carnegie Hall, and Washington, DC's Kennedy Center and the National Gallery. He has toured throughout the U.S., Middle East, and Europe, including his native country Germany, performing in major concert series in Berlin, Leipzig, Rome, Milan, Bern, Los Angeles, San Diego, Cleveland, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, and Chicago ("Dame Myra Hess Series").
"A fascinating artist with all the indispensable qualities: temperament, taste, touch, tone, the four T's of pianism" and "A pianist who makes silences sound like music," the critics of the NEW YORK TIMES hailed his performances. In Berlin, the TAGESSPIEGEL wrote: "humorous flamboyancy and impeccable technique, grace, melodious sound and plenty of brilliance."
A "Musician's Portrait," filmed in conjunction with a concert at the Neuhardenberg Castle near Berlin, and his recital with the late Beethoven Sonatas at the National Gallery in Dresden, were aired on national radio. Andreas Klein has been frequently heard on NPR's "Performance Today" and on numerous live broadcasts across the country, from Los Angeles to Chicago, and Minneapolis to Houston. PBS produced and aired a series of short works called "Intermezzo with Andreas Klein." In Germany, Liszt's "Dance Macabre" and Frank's "Symphonic Variations" with the Halle Symphony Orchestra were broadcast on MDR Radio.
Highlights of the more recent seasons include the debut at the Kennedy Center:
"...elaborate display of technical prowess...Klein resembled a sketch artist bringing a scene to life with quick virtuoso strokes and shading," (WASHINGTON POST), followed by a second appearance at the Kennedy Center, National Gallery, Phillips Collection, and the German Embassy. He gave his third live performance and interview at WGBH Radio in Boston, and gave recitals at Rockefeller University in New York, in Portland, Oregon, at Cal Tech in Los Angeles, and in Damascus, Syria.
In the summer of 1999, Andreas Klein gave recitals in Prague and at the Piano Festival in Bechyne in the Czech Republic. He performed in Dresden and the Distinguished Master Series in the Castles Moritzburg and Rammenau, and opened the Connoisseur Artist Series in San Diego.
Most recently, he has appeared with the Poznan Philharmonic in Poland, the Oregon Mozart Players (Andrew Massey, conductor), the Virginia Symphony, the Springfield Symphony, the Carl Philip Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra, and the Norddeutsche Philharmonie, performing concerti by Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann.
His three CD releases of the Beethoven/Berg Sonatas, Works by Chopin and Liszt and "Dancing Through Time" received praise by critics, conductors, presenters and audiences alike. The later was featured in a two-hour special edition of "the Piano Bench" at KUHF Radio in Houston.
After studying and winning many awards in Germany, Andreas Klein was invited to New York where he later graduated from Juilliard School. He studied with the legendary Claudio Arrau, Nikita Magaloff, and John Perry, where he received his DMA degree at Rice University in Houston.