LEATHAM MUSIC

Awesome Piano Classics Vol. 1

Sonatas on the Stuart & Sons Piano

Classical piano music
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Mozart
Sonata 10 in C K.330
1st movt> Free
2nd movtSample
3rd movtSample

Beethoven
Sonata 21 in C Op.53 - Waldstein
1st movtSample
2rd movtSample
3rd movtSample

Bach · Siloti
Prelude in Bm
Sample

Liszt
Sonata in Bm S.178
Sample 1 - Sample 2
Sample 3 - Sample 4 - Sample 5

Program notes

W.A. Mozart (1756-1791)
Piano Sonata No. 10 in C K.330

THE YEARS 1781 to 1784 provided great personal challenges for Mozart. He had moved to Vienna to pursue a career as a performer and conductor of his own music after falling out with the Archbishop of Salzburg. In 1782 he married Constance Weber, but their first child Raimond died when only two months old.

However, Mozart worked tirelessly to establish himself as a concert pianist and to be accepted by the Viennese artistic and social communities. In 1784 he was admitted as a Freemason.

Through all of this activity Mozart was able to complete: a wind serenade; three violin sonatas; the opera The Abduction from the Seraglio; the trio of chamber piano concertos; the Hafner and Linz Symphonies; the great C Minor Mass; a horn concerto; two string quartets; and a set of piano sonatas K.330·31·32.

Alfred Einstein described this popular sonata as ...a masterpiece, in which every note ‘belongs’—one of the most lovable works Mozart ever wrote.

Allegro moderato

The movement is built from a succession of short repeated phrases, often decorated with sparkling ornamentation. Written in a transparent classical style with rarely more than two notes sounding at a time, Mozart creates an instantly appealing opening to this sonata.

Andante Cantabile

A simple motive of four repeated notes provides the basis for this gentle, meditative movement. It begins and ends in F major, with a more expressive F minor central section.

Allegretto

Mozart balances the work perfectly with another quick movement in sonata form, again featuring short repeated phrases and simple two-part writing. The elegant and cheerful mood provides a fine ending to this optimistic music.

— Notes by Gregory Lewis

L. van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Sonata No.21 in C Op.53 - Waldstein

COUND FERDINAND ERNST GABRIEL VON WALDSTEIN, the dedicatee of this sonata, was an important friend and early patron, recognising the young composer's genius while Beethoven was still a teenager in Bonn earning a living as a viola player.

Waldstein encouraged the boy to move to the rich cultural life of Vienna in 1792 with the farewell message May you receive the spirit of Mozart through the hands of Haydn.

Beethoven quickly established himself as a virtuoso pianist and a significant new composer, publishing the Opus 1 piano trios and the Opus 2 piano sonatas that he dedicated to Haydn.

Within ten years he was recognised as the most exciting performer and greatest composer of his time, with two symphonies, three piano concertos, six string quartets, eight violin sonatas and 20 piano sonatas included in his published works.

The Waldstein sonata itself was published in 1804 around the same time as the Kreutzer violin sonata and the Symphony No.3 Eroica.

Of great importance for everyone in Europe, including its artists and composers, the 12 year Napoleonic Wars were about to begin. The response of Beethoven and others to the new and dangerous world around them was to be powerful and revolutionary.

Allegro Con Brio

Opening with those famously impatient C major chords, Beethoven moved the sonata form itself away from the balanced intellectual classicism of Mozart and Haydn. Here was the strength, passion and individuality that would characterize his mature compositions.

Unexpected key changes, dramatic shifts in volume and register, sudden mood swings and the frequent return of the opening motive take the listener on an exciting and powerful journey into a new era of piano writing.

Introduzione - Adagio Molto

Beethoven had written a separate second movement, later published as the Andante Favori. His final choice was for a gentle introduction built on a simple rising motive that leads without a break into the final movement.

Rondo - Allegretto moderato

The hushed presentation of the memorable theme disguises the tumultuous ideas that soon emerge. Beginning with one of the long trills that recur during the movement, Beethoven grabs our attention and never lets go. Again, huge shifts in volume and pitch explore the limits of the pianos of that time.

A contrasting central section in C minor is at first impassioned but then quiet and tense, building to a heroic reappearance of the main theme and a breathtaking Prestissimo coda, complete with glissando octaves, extended trills and unbounded energy that drives to the very end.

— Notes by Gregory Lewis

A. Siloti (1863-1945)
Prelude in B minor

UKRANIAN PIANIST, teacher, composer and conductor, Siloti was one of Russia’s most important musicians before the 1917 revolution. As a student of Liszt and teacher of Rachmaninoff he became a key figure in the cultural life of St Petersburg and an internationally recognised concert artist.

Siloti fled Russia to England, then to America, finally settling in New York in 1921. He taught at The Julliard School and continued to give major recitals until his retirement in 1942.

J.S. Bach’s 48 Preludes & Fugues for harpsichord are notable both for the diversity and elegance of the preludes and the intellectual mastery of the fugues. Siloti arranged the E minor prelude from Book 1 for the modern grand piano, transposing it to B minor and moving the melody to the right hand.

In this live recording, Gregory Kinda takes full advantage of the Stuart piano’s capacity for long sustain and clear pianissimo to render a subtle and beautiful performance.

— Notes by Gregory Lewis

F. Liszt (1811-1886)
Piano Sonata in Bm S.178

FROM EARLY IN HIS CONCERT CAREER Liszt had included his own music alongside the works of Beethoven, Schubert, Weber, Chopin and others. After hearing the astounding virtuosity of Paganini, Liszt’s worked to redefine piano technique in his Grandes Etudes de Paganini.

As Liszt's grew as a composer he increasingly found a new deeply felt spiritual voice in his music, with many compositions being inspired by literature, poetry or paintings.

The Sonata, dedicated to Robert Schumann and published in 1854, covers an extraordinary range of contrasting styles and techniques within its single movement. Bravura virtuosity, a formal three-part fugue and the most sensitive pianissimo moments all become part of this masterpiece.

List page 1

Almost the entire work is built from a few fragments on the opening page: soft drum beats and descending scales (bars 1-7); leaping octaves with descending dominant 7th arpeggios (bars 8-13); and a hammering motif in the bass (bars 14-17).

These tunes are so instantly memorable that their reappearances and re-workings can be readily identified as the music develops. For example, the hammering played slowly in the treble becomes a richly romantic theme for the central section, but then combines with the second motif to become the main subject of an energetic fugue.

To these ideas is added a grandiose theme, underscored by pulsating chords (3’ 23“). This archetypal example of a big tune from the Romantic era appears four times.

The transformations of the basic material constitutes the core of Liszt’s concept, presenting ideas that are immediately recognizable but re-harmonized, lengthened, shortened, combined or played at a different tempo. The same musical seeds flower into vastly different musical ideas and moods as the listener is taken on a journey of discovery in one of the greatest piano works ever written.

— Notes by Gregory Lewis


The performer

Gregory Kinda GREGORY KINDA is a true virtuoso in the great tradition of Polish concert artists. Resident in Australia since 2000 he has worked as a teacher and performer, including an appearance at The Steinway Spectacular in Melbourne in 2008.

This is Kinda’s first CD, and the first Leatham Music release of classical masterworks recorded on the Australian designed and built Stuart & Sons piano.

Kinda takes full advantage of the increased dynamic range and broader tonal palette of this remarkable instrument to bring a new dimension to music of the Classical and Romantic repertoire.

From the delicate clarity of Mozart K.330 to a tumultuous performance of the Beethoven Waldstein sonata and finally to a breathtaking account of Liszt’s titanic B minor Sonata, Kinda's vision for the future of the classical piano sound is fully realized.

Gregory Andrew Kinda was born in Katowice, Poland. In 1983, his family immigrated to Australia. In 1984, at the age of 6, he became the youngest scholar to enter the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in the preparatory department.

He moved to Papua-New Guinea in 1986, and in 1990 he returned to Poland. He studied at the Katowice Secondary Music School and completed university studies at the Academy of Music in Katowice.

In 1999 Gregory completed his Master of Arts degree in an accelerated three years instead of the usual five. Following post-graduate work in Norway and Poland, he returned to Sydney in 2000.

From 2001 to 2006 Gregory was a piano lecturer at the Australian International Conser­vatorium of Music in Harris Park, NSW. In 2003 He additionally completed his Bachelor of Teaching degree at the University of Western Sydney.

Gregory has performed in Australia, Poland, Norway, Germany, Russia, France, Czech Republic and Japan. His repertoire ranges from Bach to 20th century composers such as the great Polish woman composer Grazyna Bacewicz.

His prizes at international competitions have included:

In March 2010 he opened the state celebrations of Chopin’s 200th birthday at the Sydney City Recital Hall, Angel Place, in a public recital attended by the Ambassador of Poland Andrzej Jaroszynski, the Polish Consul General Daniel Gromann and the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir AC.

Hear Gregory play Gershwin Prelude No. 1

Hear Gregory play Flight of the Bumble Bee

Contact Gregory at gregory_kinda@yahoo.com.au

Recital enquiries welcome. 0432 387 302.


The Piano

THE UNIQUE SOUND QUALITY of our instrument shines through on this recording. At 2.9m (9’ 6”) in length this 97 key Stuart & Sons piano is capable of stupendous volume shifts whenever required, moving instantly from a colossal fortissimo to the most gentle pianissimo. Its undamped upper harmonics are revealed in the clarity of every note, no matter how complex and furious the music becomes, and in the precise pure tone of quiet passages.

Stuart & Sons piano

We have not applied any compression or equalisation to this recording. Experience a front row performance as the Liszt sonata in particular takes you on a pianistic journey through more tone colours and mood changes than have ever before been possible on traditional grand pianos.

All Stuart & Sons instruments feature an additional soft pedal, operating as on an upright piano by moving the hammers closer to the strings. When combined with the traditional una corda pedal the result is an astonishing new level of controlled pianissimo. This is a vital part of the new voice of these stunning hand-built instruments and can be heard to great effect in the Bach/Siloti Prelude.