This is a newly recorded 2-CD collection of some of the most important Beethoven solo piano works, surrounded by a group of intriguing and lesser known curiosities by the composer.
The album was recorded at the stunning Shalin Liu performance center in Rockport, MA, and is our seventh release with the always-engaging Steinway Artist, Andrew Rangell.
Andrew Rangell releases A Bouquet of Beethoven for Steinway & Sons label
The two-disc recording, juxtaposes Beethoven sonatas with lesser-known works – including some original touches from Rangell himself
Andrew Rangell’s double album on the Steinway & Sons label, A Bouquet of Beethoven, comprises two discs of material spanning the composer’s career and further cements Rangell’s status as a foremost Beethoven interpreter. With his decision to feature both “mainstream” works – including the Moonlight Sonata and Für Elise – and lesser-known “outliers,” Rangell provides a refreshing program that not only lifts some deserving works out of obscurity, but also serves to illuminate new sides of familiar works. A Bouquet of Beethoven (STNS 30080) was released August 18, 2017.
The album came about through Rangell’s original desire to record four Beethoven sonatas (No. 22, No. 18, No. 14 and No. 15) alongside the Rule Brittania and Op. 34 Variations, and his own keyboard transcription of the “Serioso” movement from String Quartet in F minor, Op. 95. Realizing that the latter three works are underperformed and underappreciated, Rangell set about reexamining the substantial body of Beethoven’s keyboard works commonly seen as outliers. Very early works such as the 24 Variations on Righini’s “Venni amore” prefigure the masterful Diabelli Variations, Beethoven’s final major work for keyboard, while the Bagatelle in C minor offers glimpses of the later Symphony No. 5.
“It seems to me that Beethoven's mainstream piano works and those we would label “outliers” have tended to become segregated, both in recital and recording. This collection hopes to say a few new things, first in the playing, of course, but also in the integrated presentation of these pieces. Each flower making its distinctive contribution to the present bouquet.”
“A fascinating Beethoven recital.”
“Highly recommended to all libraries.”
Throughout the album, Rangell’s own voice mingles with Beethoven’s, through improvisations on the Righini variations; an original transcription of a string quartet movement; and in the Sonata No. 18, an interpolated flashback to the first movement at the end of the piece. Rangell’s thoughtful programming and engagement with Beethoven’s works add up to a delightful bouquet.
About the Artist
One of our most eloquent and probing interpreters of the major keyboard works of Bach and Beethoven, pianist Andrew Rangell is also acclaimed for a wide variety of recordings, which range from the music of Sweelinck, Farnaby, and Gibbons to Nielsen, Ives, Enescu, Bartók, Janáček, Schoenberg, Christian Wolff, and many others. Mr. Rangell’s Bach recordings embrace the Goldberg Variations, the Partitas, the French suites, the Art of Fugue, the Well-tempered Clavier (Bk. 1), the B minor French Overture, Italian Concerto, and smaller works. Apart from the present recording, his Beethoven includes the last five sonatas, Diabelli Variations, late bagatelles, and ten earlier sonatas.
Rangell made his New York debut as winner of the Malraux Award of the Concert Artists’ Guild, and has since performed and lectured throughout the United States, and in Europe, Israel, and China. He has also taught on the faculties of Dartmouth, Middlebury, and Tufts University. In the 1980s, already recognized as a distinctive recitalist and collaborative artist, Mr. Rangell gained national attention — and the award of an Avery Fisher Career Grant — for his vivid traversals of the complete Beethoven sonata–cycle in New York, Boston, Cleveland, Rochester, Denver, and other US cities. A hand injury sustained in 1991 forced Mr. Rangell to gradually alter the trajectory of his career, and eventually to place his highest priority on recording. In recent years he has created several DVDs for children — integrating his special talents as author, illustrator, narrator, and pianist.
About Steinway & Sons label
The STEINWAY & SONS music label produces exceptional albums of solo piano music across all genres. The label — a division of STEINWAY & SONS, maker of the world’s finest pianos — is a perfect vessel for producing the finest quality recordings by some of the most talented pianists in the world.