Pierre-Laurent Aimard

France's master pianist

Photo that shows Aimard 2015 9562 C Wesely.
Program Artists

French master pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs the two most monumental piano sonatas of music history. And the Second Sonata of American composer Charles Ives represents something like an answer to Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata, even quoting the earlier work. If we break down “piano technique” into “fluency” and “tone color,” with Ives and Beethoven we encounter an additional, decisive parameter: sheer physical strength. Beethoven’s music also possesses an expansiveness, for example in the slow movement, which can only be described as transcendental – and it is precisely four American Transcendentalists who are portrayed by Ives in his sonata.

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Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major, op. 106 (“Hammerklavier”)


Charles Ives
Piano Sonata No. 2 (“Concord, Mass.”)