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Variations

Emanuel Ax

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Langue disponible : anglais

This is not the first all-variation recital by a leading pianist, but it's a fresh outing by the venerable Emanuel Ax that uses the variation form to explore the innovative currents percolating through some less commonly played works. Beethoven's Variations and Fugue for piano in E flat major, Op. 35, are known as the "Eroica Variations" because they are based on the same two themes that would later appear in the Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 ("Eroica"). It's very easy to construct a splashy reading pointing to Beethoven's early career as a virtuoso pianist, and that's what's often been done. Ax, on the other hand, takes the reasonable step of treating the work as a prelude to the "Eroica" symphony, damping down the virtuosity a good deal (of course, he's enough of a virtuoso to get away with that) and bringing the variations together into larger groups. His reading seems almost meditative at first, although it eventually builds in power, and it's quite absorbing. Likewise for the Variations for piano in F minor, Hob. 17/6, of Haydn, perhaps the single piece in Haydn's entire catalog that points forward most clearly to the Romantic era. The work, with its harmonic excursions and unusual double variation structure, offers plenty to chew on if the pianist slows down enough to get inside it, and Ax's reading brings out its adventurous quality. The Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, of Schumann are given a confidently, coolly controlled performance, even in the midst of extreme technical challenges. The upshot is to make these three works sound quite close to one another, no mean feat, and one that brings fresh insights to each.

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Variations

Emanuel Ax

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Variations and Fugue for Piano in E-flat Major, Op. 35 ("Eroica Variations") (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
Introduzione col basso del tema. Allegretto vivace - Tema 00:03:48

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

2
Variation 1 00:00:38

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

3
Variation 2 00:00:51

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

4
Variation 3 00:00:42

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

5
Variation 4 00:00:39

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

6
Variation 5 00:01:05

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

7
Variation 6 00:00:38

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

8
Variation 7 00:00:39

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

9
Variation 8 00:01:14

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

10
Variation 9 00:00:40

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

11
Variation 10 00:00:44

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

12
Variation 11 00:00:56

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

13
Variation 12 00:00:44

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

14
Variation 13 00:00:44

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

15
Variation 14 00:01:27

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

16
Variation 15 00:05:58

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

17
Finale. Alla Fuga: Allegro Con Brio 00:04:50

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

18
Variations In F Minor (Sonata) Hob. XVII:6 00:12:29

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Joseph Haydn, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

35
Piano Variations 00:10:04

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Aaron Copland, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

Symphonic Etudes op. 13 (Robert Schumann)

19
Thema: Andante 00:01:33

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

20
Etude 1 00:01:20

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

21
Etude 2 00:03:13

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

22
Etude 3 00:01:10

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

23
Etude 4 00:00:53

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

24
Etude 5 00:01:17

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

25
Variation 4 00:03:00

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

26
Variation 5 00:03:06

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

27
Etude 6 00:01:00

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

28
Etude 7 00:01:12

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

29
Etude 8 00:02:31

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

30
Variation 2 00:02:44

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

31
Etude 9 00:00:43

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

32
Etude 10 00:01:18

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

33
Etude 11 00:02:44

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

34
Etude 12 00:06:46

Emanuel Ax, Piano, MainArtist - Robert Schumann, Composer - Adam Abeshouse, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

Descriptif de l'album

This is not the first all-variation recital by a leading pianist, but it's a fresh outing by the venerable Emanuel Ax that uses the variation form to explore the innovative currents percolating through some less commonly played works. Beethoven's Variations and Fugue for piano in E flat major, Op. 35, are known as the "Eroica Variations" because they are based on the same two themes that would later appear in the Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 ("Eroica"). It's very easy to construct a splashy reading pointing to Beethoven's early career as a virtuoso pianist, and that's what's often been done. Ax, on the other hand, takes the reasonable step of treating the work as a prelude to the "Eroica" symphony, damping down the virtuosity a good deal (of course, he's enough of a virtuoso to get away with that) and bringing the variations together into larger groups. His reading seems almost meditative at first, although it eventually builds in power, and it's quite absorbing. Likewise for the Variations for piano in F minor, Hob. 17/6, of Haydn, perhaps the single piece in Haydn's entire catalog that points forward most clearly to the Romantic era. The work, with its harmonic excursions and unusual double variation structure, offers plenty to chew on if the pianist slows down enough to get inside it, and Ax's reading brings out its adventurous quality. The Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13, of Schumann are given a confidently, coolly controlled performance, even in the midst of extreme technical challenges. The upshot is to make these three works sound quite close to one another, no mean feat, and one that brings fresh insights to each.

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