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Wilhelm Backhaus - Beethoven : The Piano Sonatas

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Beethoven : The Piano Sonatas

Wilhelm Backhaus

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Language available : english

After having recorded Beethoven’s entire sonata catalogue in mono between 1950 and 1953, Wilhelm Backhaus, at DECCA’s request, delivered a second version of this album, between 1958 and 1969, this time in stereo and re-released on Qobuz in Hi-Res. But Backhaus would not live to see the recording of Sonata n°29 "Hammerklavier", a great shame as he was an outstanding interpreter of this piece - Beethoven (and Brahms) was his favourite composer.
According to those who saw his live performances, it was in public that Backhaus’s artistic spontaneity shined. The richness and power of his performances are clear in the rare live recordings available. Indeed, his studio recordings presented a much more restricted and controlled musician, less taken by Beethoven’s musical momentum, which he performed so spectacularly. Backhaus’s discography remains to this day a great testament and an ode to Beethoven’s music.

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Beethoven : The Piano Sonatas

Wilhelm Backhaus

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Piano Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 2 No. 1 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
1. Allegro Stereo Version
00:03:01

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

2
2. Adagio Stereo Version
00:03:58

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

3
3. Menuetto. Allegretto Stereo Version
00:02:24

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

4
4. Prestissimo Stereo Version
00:03:51

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2 No. 2 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

5
1. Allegro vivace Stereo Version
00:04:54

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

6
2. Largo appassionato Stereo Version
00:05:01

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

7
3. Scherzo. Allegretto Stereo Version
00:02:48

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

8
4. Rondo. Grazioso Stereo Version
00:06:22

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2 No. 3 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

9
1. Allegro con brio Stereo Version
00:07:22

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1969 Decca Music Group Limited

10
2. Adagio Stereo Version
00:05:58

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1969 Decca Music Group Limited

11
3. Scherzo. Allegro Stereo Version
00:03:05

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1969 Decca Music Group Limited

12
4. Allegro assai Stereo Version
00:05:31

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1969 Decca Music Group Limited

Piano Sonata No. 4 in E-Flat Major, Op. 7 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

13
1. Allegro molto e con brio Stereo Version
00:06:20

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 Decca Music Group Limited

14
2. Largo, con gran espressione Stereo Version
00:06:14

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 Decca Music Group Limited

15
3. Allegro Stereo Version
00:03:49

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 Decca Music Group Limited

16
4. Rondo. Poco allegretto e grazioso Stereo Version
00:06:33

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 Decca Music Group Limited

Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10 No. 1 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

17
1. Allegro molto e con brio Stereo Version
00:04:06

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

18
2. Adagio molto Stereo Version
00:05:52

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

19
3. Finale. Prestissimo Stereo Version
00:03:20

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Piano Sonata No. 6 in F major, Op. 10 No. 2 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

20
1. Allegro Stereo Version
00:04:24

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

21
2. Allegretto Stereo Version
00:03:27

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

22
3. Presto Stereo Version
00:02:16

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Piano Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10 No. 3 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

23
1. Presto Stereo Version
00:04:52

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

24
2. Largo e mesto Stereo Version
00:06:36

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

25
3. Menuetto. Allegro Stereo Version
00:02:35

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

26
4. Rondo. Allegro Stereo Version
00:04:04

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1964 Decca Music Group Limited

Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 "Pathétique" (Ludwig van Beethoven)

27
1. Grave - Allegro di molto e con brio Stereo Version
00:06:13

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ray Minshull, Producer

℗ 1959 Decca Music Group Limited

28
2. Adagio cantabile Stereo Version
00:04:46

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ray Minshull, Producer

℗ 1959 Decca Music Group Limited

29
3. Rondo. Allegro Stereo Version
00:04:30

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ray Minshull, Producer

℗ 1959 Decca Music Group Limited

Piano Sonata No. 9 in E major, Op. 14 No. 1 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

30
1. Allegro Stereo Version
00:04:29

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

31
2. Allegretto Stereo Version
00:03:12

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

32
3. Rondo. Allegro comodo Stereo Version
00:03:35

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

Piano Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 14 No. 2 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

33
1. Allegro Stereo Version
00:04:55

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

34
2. Andante Stereo Version
00:05:32

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

35
3. Scherzo. Allegro assai Stereo Version
00:03:18

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

Piano Sonata No. 11 in B-Flat Major, Op. 22 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

36
1. Allegro con brio Stereo Version
00:05:41

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

37
2. Adagio con molto espressione Stereo Version
00:07:14

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

38
3. Menuetto Stereo Version
00:03:10

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

39
4. Rondo. Allegretto Stereo Version
00:05:44

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Wilkinson, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1968 Decca Music Group Limited

Piano Sonata No. 12 in A-flat Major, Op. 26 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

40
1. Andante con variazioni Stereo Version
00:07:06

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Abel, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1963 Decca Music Group Limited

41
2. Scherzo. Allegro molto Stereo Version
00:02:42

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Abel, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1963 Decca Music Group Limited

42
3. Marcia funebre sulla morte d'un Eroe Stereo Version
00:05:15

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Abel, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1963 Decca Music Group Limited

43
4. Allegro Stereo Version
00:02:48

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Michael Bremner, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Abel, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1963 Decca Music Group Limited

Piano Sonata No. 13 in E-Flat Major, Op. 27 No. 1 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

44
1. Andante - Allegro - Tempo I Stereo Version
00:04:49

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1969 Decca Music Group Limited

45
2. Allegro molto e vivace Stereo Version
00:02:09

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1969 Decca Music Group Limited

46
3. Adagio con espressione Stereo Version
00:02:12

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1969 Decca Music Group Limited

47
4. Allegro vivace - Tempo I - Presto Stereo Version
00:05:26

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - John Mordler, Producer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Lock, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1969 Decca Music Group Limited

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 "Moonlight" (Ludwig van Beethoven)

48
1. Adagio sostenuto Stereo Version
00:05:40

JAMES BROWN, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ray Minshull, Producer

℗ 1960 Decca Music Group Limited

49
2. Allegretto Stereo Version
00:02:20

JAMES BROWN, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ray Minshull, Producer

℗ 1960 Decca Music Group Limited

50
3. Presto Stereo Version
00:07:21

JAMES BROWN, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Wilhelm Backhaus, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ray Minshull, Producer

℗ 1960 Decca Music Group Limited

Album Description

After having recorded Beethoven’s entire sonata catalogue in mono between 1950 and 1953, Wilhelm Backhaus, at DECCA’s request, delivered a second version of this album, between 1958 and 1969, this time in stereo and re-released on Qobuz in Hi-Res. But Backhaus would not live to see the recording of Sonata n°29 "Hammerklavier", a great shame as he was an outstanding interpreter of this piece - Beethoven (and Brahms) was his favourite composer.
According to those who saw his live performances, it was in public that Backhaus’s artistic spontaneity shined. The richness and power of his performances are clear in the rare live recordings available. Indeed, his studio recordings presented a much more restricted and controlled musician, less taken by Beethoven’s musical momentum, which he performed so spectacularly. Backhaus’s discography remains to this day a great testament and an ode to Beethoven’s music.

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