Kagan: Ries - Piano Sonatas and Sonatinas vol.1 (FLAC)
Kagan: Ries – Piano Sonatas and Sonatinas vol.1 (FLAC)

Composer: Ferdinand Ries
Performer: Susan Kagan
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Naxos
Size: 153 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 11, No. 2: I. Largo con espressione – Allegro agitato
02. Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 11, No. 2: II. Larghetto
03. Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 11, No. 2: III. Allegro
04. Piano Sonata in E-Flat Major, Op. 11, No. 1: I. Allegro moderato
05. Piano Sonata in E-Flat Major, Op. 11, No. 1: II. Andante
06. Piano Sonata in E-Flat Major, Op. 11, No. 1: III. Theme and 6 Variations: Allegretto moderato
07. Piano Sonata in A Minor, Op. 45: I. Allegro moderato
08. Piano Sonata in A Minor, Op. 45: II. Allegretto scherzando

Please give this music a try.

I listened to this CD and immediately ordered the next three in the series. This music is very listenable and enjoyable. I knew very little about the composer other than he was a student and friend of Beethoven. The music is not as memorable as Beethoven’s sonatas, but that is an unfair comparison. Ries was a good composer and has his own ideas. These sonatas are happier and are less dramatic than Beethoven’s. Sometimes that is exactly what you need. The package insert is a nice short bio of the composer and analysis of the musical selections by the pianist. Ms. Kagan is to be thanked for bringing this music to us. The performances are well performed and recorded on a modern piano.

Neglected composers

Ries, and other contempories of Mr. Beethoven himself are left neglected by the concert industry and this is a shame of the highest order.
Many sonatas by Ries even can be put next to some of Beethoven.
We are all so narrow minded that the concert repertoire contains only a handful of classical sonatas and romantics, while there is a treasure of material by gifted composers. Only cause they don’t have their name sounding as a bell, they are left aside.
We must be thankful to labels like Naxos and CPO and solists who take time to invest in these little wonders.
Haven’t we heard enough cycles of the Beethoven and Schubert sonatas, no…
Also we do injustice to the history of western music by neglecting hundreds of composers, whom should not be all performed of course, but take a fairly amount to fill the holes in our musical minds.
Ever since the beginning of the 20th century always the same big composers were performed time after time, countlessly…
Even the sheer titanic work of Howard Shelley in the Romantic series on Hyperion and Piers Lane did not change very much.
And do not blame the composers reputation. The public comes to hear the name of the soloist or conductor, sadly enough, so they could play whatever they want, if they would invest time in another kind of repertoire.
Nice to see lately a great pianist playing a sonata by Balakirev.
I just hope that over time musicians will start to wonder if they will play the “standards” all their life or color outside the lines.
Anyway this cd is wonderful, and very well performed.
Dussek, Hummel, … all have had great successes on the platform by a courageous young female pianist in Wigmore Hall. She proved it is possible to bring them to the front, or combine them with a Beethoven or another great name.
See forum unsungcomposer.com with a wealth of knowledge about forgotten composers.
See youtube unsungcomposer to find performances.

2 Comments

  1. I’m discovering the works of Ferdinand Ries for the first time. I appreciate the abundance of choices.

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