Sir András Schiff: The Final Sonatas at Wigmore Hall

Over the course of three evenings at the Wigmore Hall, Sir András Schiff surveys the late works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. The programmes are built from the final three sonatas of each composer, as Sir András writes:
‘”Alle guten Dinge sind drei” – all good things are three, according to this German proverb that must have been well-known to Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. Introducing their last three piano sonatas in three concerts – twelve works, twelve being a multiple of three – is a fascinating project that can demonstrate the connections, similarities and differences among these composers.
The last three Beethoven sonatas make a wonderful programme. They can be played together, preferably without a break. Some pianists like to perform the last three Schubert sonatas together. This, at least for me, is not a good idea. These works are enormous constructions, twice as long as those of Beethoven, and the emotional impact they create is overwhelming, almost unbearable. It is mainly for this reason that I am combining Beethoven and Schubert with Haydn and Mozart. They complement each other beautifully, in a perfect exchange of tension and release. Haydn’s originality and boldness never fail to astonish us. Who else would have dared to place an E Major movement into the middle of an E-flat Major sonata? His wonderful sense of humour and Mozart’s graceful elegance may lighten the tensions created by Beethoven’s transcendental metaphysics and Schubert’s spellbinding visions.
Great music is always greater than its performance, as Arthur Schnabel wisely said. It is never easy to listen to, but it’s well worth the effort.’
Performances take place on 2, 6 and 9 April 2016 at London’s Wigmore Hall. Read Sir András Schiff’s full programme notes here. More information and tickets here
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