Wagner: Complete Piano Music (Full Album)

In this video

Tracklist below.

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Today Richard Wagner is best known for his extraordinary operas; any success in other domains was dwarfed by these compositional feats in the world of musical theatre. But Wagner’s piano works can be seen to be just as important in understanding the evolution of his style and musical thought, and thus the development of this dominating figure of the 19th century.

The collection brings together Wagner’s entire output for solo piano. The earliest sonata on the recording is the Piano Sonata in B flat, which shows evidence of Wagner’s music education, with much indebted to the Beethovian model as well as to the great pianist-composers Weber and Pleyel. These influences are heard again in the more mature and complex Große Sonate – a work that Wagner intended to turn into a symphony, though this attempt was later abandoned. A regular dedicatee of Wagner’s works was Mathilde Wesendock – the relationship between the two is still much debated today – and among the works in this collection, three are dedicated to Mathilde: the ‘masterpiece’ Eine Sonate für das Album von Frau Mathilde Wesendock, Notenbrief für Mathilde Wesendonck and the ‘Schluß zum Vorspiel’ from Tristan und Isolde. The ‘Tristan chord’ at the beginning of the latter has become considered a clear attestation of Wagner’s infatuation with Mathilde, for whom he stopped work on the Ring cycle to begin that great testament of love, Tristan und Isolde.

The works are performed by the Italian pianist Pier Paolo Vincenzi, whose busy concert schedule takes him all over his native country. He is joined for the Polonaise for 4 hands in D by Federica Ferrati.

00:00:00 Eine Sonate für das Album von Frau M.W., WWV 85
00:13:37 Piano Sonata in A Major, WWV 26 Op.4 ‘Große Sonate’: I. Allegro con moto
00:22:21 Piano Sonata in A Major, WWV 26 Op.4 ‘Große Sonate’: II. Adagio molto, e assai espressivo
00:36:01 Piano Sonata in A Major, WWV 26 Op.4 ‘Große Sonate’: III. Maestoso – Allegro molto
00:45:36 Piano Sonata in B-Flat Major, WWV 21 Op. 1: I. Allegro con brio
00:54:25 Piano Sonata in B-Flat Major, WWV 21 Op. 1: II. Larghetto
01:03:05 Piano Sonata in B-Flat Major, WWV 21 Op. 1: III. Menuetto: Allegro
01:06:52 Piano Sonata in B-Flat Major, WWV 21 Op. 1: IV. Allegro vivace
01:13:02 Schluß zum Vorspiel, from Tristan und Isolde
01:17:33 Fantasia in F-Sharp Minor, WWV 22 Op. 3
01:46:04 Albumblatt für Ernst Benedikt Kietz, WWV 64 ‘Lied ohne Worte’
01:48:13 Polonaise in D Major, WWV 23a
01:51:10 In das Album der Fürstin M., WWV 94
01:54:14 Züricher Vielliebchen-Walzer, WWV 88
01:55:31 Ankunft bei den schwarzen Schwänen, WWV 95
02:00:42 Polka in G Major, WWV 84
02:01:17 Notenbrief für Mathilde Wesendonck
02:02:40 Polonaise for Piano Four Hands in D Major, WWV 23b Op.2
02:07:59 Elegy in A-Flat Major
02:09:37 Albumblatt für Frau Betty Schott, WWV 108
02:15:12 Piano Sonata in A Major, WWV 26 Op. 4 ‘Große Sonate’: III. Maestoso: Tempo moderato e maestoso – Allegro molto (alternative version)

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