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Ludwig van Beethoven

(1770 - 1827)


Piano Sonatas

Op. 101

Op. 106 "Hammerklavier"


Jin Ju

Concert Grand Piano Steinway D

“Manfred Bürki” 1901


MDG 947 2274-6 


Price: 21,99 €



Beethoven's enigmatic "Hammerklavier Sonata" Op. 106, unprecedented for its time, made such uncompromisingly high demands of the performer that decades would pass before anyone took on the challenge. The immensely difficult, pioneering work of symphonic dimensions is a rewarding task for award-winning virtuoso Jin Ju. Her phenomenal talent turns Beethoven's complex web of motifs into pure musical expression, touching the emotions as deeply as it challenges the intellect.



Composed a couple of years after the death of Beethoven’s brother, the powerful slow movement of opus 106 is bursting with intensity, in which the pain of his loss and the despair of his now almost complete deafness can be felt. The final fugue with its penetrating trills of brute force brings the listener back down to earth with a jolt, pointing to these “distressing circumstances”. The much more concise, although by no means less demanding, Sonata Op. 101 demonstrates Beethoven's intellectual freedom, particularly in its harmonic structure, which goes far beyond the convention of the time.

Internationally celebrated by audiences and critics alike for her warm sensibility of singing lines, astonishing clarity in narrative subtleties as well as her technical perfection, Jin Ju is a rising star of the piano music world. Jin Ju achieves the feat of freeing herself from the difficulties of these sonatas, bringing forth even seemingly incidental touches with finely differentiated tonal nuances.



The subtleties of Jin Ju's piano playing on the strikingly powerful sound of the legendary "Manfred Bürki" Steinway from 1901 provide immensely pleasurable listening. Expertly produced in high-resolution sound with optional three-dimensional playback, the listener is completely immersed in the natural acoustics of the concert hall, which allows the multi-faceted depths of Beethoven’s music to unfold anew.

"What makes these interpretations of two of Beethoven's late Piano Sonatas by Chinese-born Italian pianist Jin Ju so noteworthy is that despite being meticulously precise and exacting in their technical and dynamic accuracy, they are just as equally impressive in their emotive execution, expressive detail, and deep understanding of Beethoven's intent. ... The instrument used in this recording also plays an important role in its impact. It's a 1901 Steinway Concert Grand Piano D which sounds perfectly balanced, tonally and dynamically, from top to bottom." - Classical Music Sentinel

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