Susan Kagan (piano)
Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven’s friend and pupil, was an exceptionally gifted composer whose prophetic piano sonatas foreshadow Schubert’s poignant harmonic language, Mendelssohn’s expressively sweet melodies and Chopin’s brilliant figuration.
While the sonatas and sonatinas on this disc inevitably show the influence of his teacher, Ries also explored the piano’s sonorities and expressive capacities in a uniquely personal fashion, plumbing novel depths of Romanticism in ways that suggested to his contemporaries an ‘Aeolian harp’.
Volume 1, also featuring Susan Kagan, is available on Naxos 8.570796.
“An hour of sheer delight here. Ferdinand Ries is probably best known for his associations with Beethoven. Here is an opportunity to hear how he sounds on his own two compositional feet in two world premiere recordings….An excellent disc. One of the beauties of Naxos is that one can experiment with rare repertoire at low cost. Here that cost is certainly justified.”