The Beethoven Connection: Piano Sonatas by Clementi, Dussek, Hummel & Wolfl | Chandos CHAN20128

The Beethoven Connection: Piano Sonatas by Clementi, Dussek, Hummel & Wolfl


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Label: Chandos

Cat No: CHAN20128

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 29th May 2020



In the 250th Beethoven anniversary year, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet has chosen this programme of works by contemporary composers to illuminate and contextualise Beethoven’s extraordinary output for piano.

In his explanatory note for the album, the pianist writes: ‘Just as a mountain peak is always surrounded by other perhaps less lofty but no less fascinating summits, the major works of Beethoven are not isolated rock formations rising from the desert, but, as it were, “Himalayas”, forming part of a range in which other mountains might be the best pieces by contemporaries such as Clementi, Hummel, Dussek, and Wölfl. These composers all knew Beethoven well and were in contact with one another. It is essential to know and to make known their music in order better to understand and more thoroughly appreciate the lingua franca of the music of the time, which in turn is part and parcel of the “spirit of the age”, and to be aware of that which unites them, as well as to recognise that which differentiates them and renders each unique. In this year of plentiful Beethovenian commemorations, it appears to me natural, indeed essential, to pay admiring and enthusiastic homage to these composers, each of whom, in his own way, followed his route to the summit.’


Bavouzet’s keen intelligence and pristine musicianship are evident throughout, not least in his vivid delineation of the individual characters of these four composer-pianists. A generous 12-minute bonus track compares various details of their work with one another and with Beethoven.  Patrick Rucker
Gramophone July 2020
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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