Martino Tirimo: Beethoven Sonatas

Martino Tirimo, founder of the Rosamunde Piano Trio, has recorded an extra-special piano recital exclusively for Maxability. As we approached the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth on December 17th 2020, we were thrilled that Martino offered us the following inspired programme:

  1. 15 Variations with a Fugue in E flat major, Op.35, ‘Eroica’ 
  2. Sonata No.30 in E major, Op.109 
    [Vivace, ma non troppo – Adagio espressivo – Tempo I
    Adagio espressivo – Tempo I
    Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung] 
  3. Sonata No.32 in C minor, Op.111 
    [Maestoso – Allegro con brio ed appassionato
    Arietta: Adagio molto semplice e cantabile] 

Covid-19 restrictions put a temporary stop to our live concerts, but this first-rate recording is superb compensation. The music has come out brilliantly, and the great Steinway sound comes through with exceptional clarity from first to last note. Our recording technicians have, I’m sure you will agree, done a very fine job.  

I ask those who are not familiar with these immortal works to believe me when I say that this is a truly exceptional opportunity, not to be missed!

As some of you know, in 2019 Martino completed his marathon recording on a Steinway concert grand, made over a 12-year period in the Gewandhaus, Leipzig, of every note that Beethoven wrote for solo piano – an unprecedented feat that has earned him world-wide acclaim. Here, to quote one example, is Damian Thompson, music critic of The Spectator. After reviewing the whole of the existing recorded output of Beethoven’s piano works, Thompson concludes:

“Here is a Waldstein, an Appasionata, a Hammerklavier and a final trilogy that match or surpass any recent competitors. It’s decades since a pianist has managed to convey such an overwhelming sense that we are listening to pure Beethoven. And there are 20 hours of it – surely the greatest recorded achievement of this anniversary year.

To buy access to this remarkable concert recording, please send us a booking email, and we will send you the bank transfer details to make your donation of £15, followed by a link to view the concert video.

Many thanks, as ever, for your support.

Piano Quartets – 29th February 2020

Our next concert, to be held on Saturday 29 February, at the usual time of 7pm, promises to be exceptional. It will be first time that we are offering the comparatively rare format of PIANO QUARTETS. 

We regularly host performances of String Quartets, Piano Trios, instrumental duos and soloists – but the great Piano Quartets have not been performed here… until now!

The Greenwich Piano Trio are Yoko Misumi (piano), Lana Trotovsek (violin) and Heather Tuach (cello) – they are of course well known to Maxability audiences. We are delighted that on this occasion they will be joined by Mariam Ruetschi (viola) in the following programme:

Mozart – Piano Quartet in E flat, K 493

This mature work shares a sense of relaxed grandeur with its contemporary Piano Concerto in E flat K 482, displaying a profusion of lyrical themes in the opening movement. The Larghetto second movement is intense and contains an impassioned development section and coda with unexpected twists. Mozart discarded two drafts of the finale’s theme before arriving at the gavotte-like version that satisfied him. The whole movement is laden with an abundance of graceful and piquant melody.

Brahms – Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op 25 (1861)

This quartet is almost orchestral in its texture, sense of colour, scope and range of expression. The finale’s unbridled gypsy music is the fullest expression of Brahms’s love of popular and exotic Hungarian idioms. It is no wonder that Arnold Schoenberg was tempted to give these tendencies full rein when he arranged the work for large orchestra in 1937! 

Mahler – Piano Quartet Movement in A Minor

This brief composition is an early, but deeply moving, work of Gustav Mahler. It is the intended first movement of a piano quartet that apparently was never completed. It is the only surviving piece of chamber music without voice composed by Mahler. 

Because the string players need space to perform, the maximum audience size will be 60. To avoid disappointment please do not delay. For full booking instructions, including suggested donations, please have a look at our concerts page.

We look forward to welcoming you on 29th February and thank you, as ever, for your kind support.

Miriam Wakefield and Christopher Guild – Cello and Piano – 1st February 2020

Our opening concert of the new year is an evening of wonderful works for cello and piano, performed by Miriam Wakeling and Christopher Guild. The three main works in their programme are:

Beethoven – Sonata for Cello & Piano No 5 in D Major, Op. 102, No 2 (1815)

This brilliant three-movement sonata is probably the most accessible of Beethoven’s works in this genre. The composer’s fulsome instruction for the middle movement reads “Adagio con molto sentimento d’affetto – Attacca”, and it leads straight into the final movement – a fugue that prefigures those in the finales of the Hammerklavier sonata and the late string quartets. Hold tight!

Claude Debussy – Sonata for Cello & Piano in D Minor (1915)

Demoralized by the carnage of World War I, and facing his own mortality as he fought against cancer, Debussy went to work on a series of six instrumental sonatas, only three of which were completed before his death in 1918. One of these, the amazing cello sonata, composed precisely 100 years after the Beethoven work (above), utilises a rich palette of timbres and achieves exquisite subtlety in both cello and piano parts. It stands at the very core of the cello repertoire.  The Miriam’s teachers’ teachers, Tortelier and Fournier, two of the greatest French cellists of our time, performed this sonata regularly.

Cesar Franck – Sonata in A Major

The A major Violin Sonata, of which we shall be hearing the Cello version, is one of César Franck’s best-known compositions, and is widely considered one of the finest sonatas for violin and piano ever written. The piano part is exactly the same for for both versions. Franck may well have originally conceived the sonata as a work for cello. Indeed, when the great cellist Pablo Casals heard that Franck himself described the work as belonging equally to both the violin and cello, he learned it, loved it, and included it regularly in his concert schedules. It has become one of the most beloved sonatas in the instrument’s repertoire.

For full booking instructions, including suggested donations, please have a look at our concerts page. To be sure of a place and avoid the waiting list, please book early.

We look forward to welcoming you on 1st February and thank you, as ever, for your kind support.