6 SACDs for the price of 4
Between 2003 and 2015, Ronald Brautigam recorded all of Beethoven’s music for solo piano – a huge undertaking resulting in a grand total of 15 highly acclaimed discs. Choosing to perform the works on the fortepiano, Brautigam began with a sonata cycle which caused one reviewer to talk of a challenge to ‘the very notion of playing this music on modern instruments, a stylistic paradigm shift.’ In 2010, after nine discs of sonatas, he went on to record &&&the composer’s variations, bagatelles and other piano pieces – a staggering array of works ranging from a Bagatelle lasting 11 seconds to the monumental Diabelli Variations, and from a charming Rondo in C major composed by a 13-year old Beethoven, to what is often referred to as the composer's ‘Last Musical Thought’, an Andante maestoso dated 1826.
Ronald Brautigam’s sonata recordings were released as a box set in 2014, and they are now followed by this 6-disc box of the remaining works for solo piano, in the original hybrid SACD format, and with full documentation in the form of the original booklets. Composed over the course of more than 40 years, the music is performed on three different instruments, all by the master builder Paul McNulty, demonstrating the rapid development that the fortepiano underwent during Beethoven’s lifetime.