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Two pianists to perform Beethoven’s three last sonatas

Two pianists to perform Beethoven’s three last sonatas

Posted August. 20, 2020 07:39,   

Updated August. 20, 2020 07:39


The last three piano sonatas of BeethovenㅡSonata No. 30, 31, and 32ㅡwill be played at the Concert Hall of the Seoul Arts Center (SAC) in Seoul in three days interval. Pianist Sohn Min-soo, professor at Korea National University of Arts, will have his eighth and last recital on Sept. 16, completing his Beethoven sonatas project that started in 2017 to celebrate the 190th anniversary of Beethoven’s death. Earlier on Sept. 13, pianist Kim Sun-wook will play Beethoven’s three piano sonatas at the same Concert Hall as the recital originally scheduled for March 6 has been postponed due to the spread of COVID-19.

Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 30, 31, and 32 are thought to be the essence of Beethoven’s spirit as they reveal the inner side of Beethoven in his late years. After writing Piano Sonata No. 29 (Hammerkalvier), which is the most technically challenging piano composition by Beethoven, he expressed his contemplative sentiment in his last three Sonatas. The three piano sonatas share many things in common, such as they last about 20 minutes and their final movements have both sadness and transcendence. But each of the three pieces unfolds such a different world that they have “different spirits.”

Sohn is planning to release an album containing all 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven in early Sep. under the Sony Classical label. He will have a recital at the Tongyeong International Concert Hall, where the recording took place, on Sept. 11. He will perform the same repertoire in Gwangju, Incheon, and Daegu.

Kim, who will perform in Seoul last Thursday enjoyed the exclusive use of Beethoven’s collections as the first beneficiary of a mentoring program of the Beethoven House, a museum in Beethoven’s birthplace Bonn.

“I could feel his soul reading Beethoven’s handwritten scores. I think Beethoven is the composer who broadened the spectrum to infinity by applying the spirits of humanity and enlightenment to music.”

Kim will perform “Andante favori” first before playing the last three piano sonatas of Beethoven. “I added it to the setlist because it has warmth that serves as a guide,” said Kim.