LvB250 – IGOR LEVIT
Igor Levit plays Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Nos. 2, 6, 7 and 18.
Monday 5 October 2020 19.00Ends approximately 21.00
Igor Levit is one of his generation’s most important pianists (he was born in 1987) and he regularly appears on all of the major concert stages worldwide. He has performed at Konserthuset Stockholm on several occasions, each time with Beethoven on the programme. When he returns for the major Beethoven anniversary, he will do so emphatically – in eight concerts, he will perform all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas.
Beethoven had the unusual ability to charge short themes with meaning and abundant energy. The best-known example is probably his Symphony No. 5, but this is also true of many of his piano sonatas, such as the second, whose introductory theme twists and turns, proving to have endless expressive potential. At the same time, we get to encounter Beethoven as both amiable and companionable, without being pompous.
Like the second sonata, Sonata No. 7 is large-scale, with a run-time of nearly 25 minutes. A significant portion is taken up by the melancholy second movement, with the designation largo e mesto, which means slow and sorrowful. Many have speculated that the music is actually about an unhappy love affair, or sadness following the loss of his mother a short time earlier.
Beethoven often used F major to signal lightness, or sometimes a pastoral sensibility, as in Sonata No. 6, where we also hear both light-hearted spirituality and humour.
Sonata No. 18 in Ess-major is sometimes called The Hunt due to its urgent, fiery final movement. Beethoven continued to live a calm life in Wienerwald, but he pulled out all the stops in the music and tried new approaches. In this original sonata, for example, he has completely scrapped the traditional slow movement. Instead, he has inserted both a scherzo and a minuet.
The musicApproximate times
Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major24 min
Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 7 in D major23 min
Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 6 in F major13 min
Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 18 in E flat major24 min
- Igor Levit piano