We are delighted to announce that in July, PENTATONE releases Beethoven: Hammerklavier Sonata and Eroica Variations with Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
Irresistible and Insurmountable Challenge
After his acclaimed interpretation of Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux, pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard returns to PENTATONE with a recording of Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata and Eroica Variations. The Hammerklavier Sonata is one of the pinnacles of Beethoven’s creative output, and arguably one of the highest mountains to climb for any pianist. To Aimard, it poses one of the most frightening tests of a performer’s life, but one that is as irresistible as it is insurmountable. The dazzling Eroica Variations are nicknamed after Beethoven’s iconoclastic Third Symphony, and employ the melody he would later use as the main theme of the symphony’s finale. Beethoven’s fondness for this melody is evident, as he also used it in his ballet music for The Creatures of Prometheus, as well as in the seventh of his 12 Contredanses. Widely acclaimed as a key figure in the music of our time and as a uniquely significant interpreter of piano repertoire from every age, Pierre-Laurent Aimard enjoys an internationally celebrated career. He started his exclusive engagement to PENTATONE with a complete recording of Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux (2018).
“How to act in the face of the incomprehensible, the immeasurable? Closing your eyes without letting yourself be too distressed – remaining prostrate in a type of comfort only humans can experience? Or open them fully, at the risk of getting lost, of slipping into a stupor? The Hammerklavier Sonata surpasses all understanding. Facing it is one of the most frightening tests of a performer’s life. But it is as irresistible as it is insurmountable. To dare to embody it can only be an attempt to wrest the unfathomable from sound matter. Postponed many times, this recording was finally made possible thanks to the inspiring turmoil and the fascinating recess that the “Corona crisis” engendered.”
Beethoven: “Allegro” from Hammerklavier Sonata
The Hammerklavier Sonata is one of the pinnacles of Beethoven’s creative output, and arguably one of the highest mountains to climb for any pianist. Pierre-Laurent Aimard takes up the challenge on his new Beethoven album, and the iconic opening movement of the sonata is presented here as a pre-release single.
[Check out the single here:]