Scherbakov and Steinway celebrate Beethoven with a cycle of the most enduring works of piano literature. These inspired performances were recorded for and during the 250th Anniversary year in coproduction with Swiss Radio SRF 2 Kultur.
“It’s like coming back home into territory that is as natural and native to you as beautiful. It’s an eternal repertory that stands above all.”
— Konstantin Scherbakov
“Scherbakov achieves a high level of control and tonal variety while employing the sustain pedal discreetly. Listen to the way the first sonata Prestissimo’s relentless left-hand triplets take surging wing through finger skill and hand balance alone. Likewise, by not pressing No. 3’s Allegro assai, Scherbakov’s right-hand runs sparkle all the more, with impressive definition and point.”
“Scherbakov plays... brightly and with delicacy in spite of his powerful left hand. As expected, his articulation is precise and reflective of the entire tradition of Russian-performed Beethoven.”
— All About Jazz
“This is an exceptionally carefully-thought-through cycle, reflecting not only Scherbakov’s comprehension of the music and comfort with its many technical challenges, but also his perception of Beethoven’s compositional progress throughout the sonatas.”
About the Artist
Konstantin Scherbakov is an internationally renowned member of the modern piano world. His artistry and contribution to the piano repertoire and recording catalogue are highlighted in his uncompromising responsibility and selfless dedication to music and piano repertoire throughout his nearly forty-year-long career.
Scherbakov has made numerous recordings since 1992. Naxos signed him and his first recording, the Transcendental Etudes by Lyapunov, released in 1994 on that label's sister enterprise Marco Polo. EMI introduced him, via its Debut Series, in a disc of Johann Strauss II waltz paraphrases by Max Reger, Carl Tausig, Rosental, György Cziffra and others. Boasting a phenomenal repertoire of some fifty concertos and a similar number of recital programmes, he has recorded music from Bach to Strauss and Scriabin and from Beethoven to Medtner and Respighi. He has a current commitment to record for Marco Polo the complete piano music of Leopold Godowsky. His acclaimed contribution to the Naxos Franz Liszt piano music series includes critically acclaimed performances of F. Liszt’s transcriptions of Beethoven’s Symphonies, of which the Ninth Symphony was awarded the 2005 German Critics’ Prize, as well as his recording of Godowsky’s Sonata in E minor for Marco Polo, which was awarded the German Critics’ Prize in December 2001. Scherbakov’s recording of the 24 Preludes and Fugues of Shostakovich for Naxos received the Classical Award 2001 at Cannes. His debut recording for Steinway & Sons, 24 Transcendental Etudes, released in 2019, brings together for the first time Liszt’s 12 Transcendental Etudes with the later complementary work by Lyapunov, the Douze études d’exécution transcendante.
Amid his heavy concert and recording schedule, Konstantin Scherbakov joined the faculty at the Zurich Arts University in 1998. He regularly conducts master-classes in pianism and acts as juror for various prestigious piano competitions.
Although renowned as a champion of lesser-known composers and works, Scherbakov has had a career-defining relationship with Beethoven, the composer who helped initiate his early career, and who has been his constant musical companion for the past four decades. Over the course of his prolific career, Scherbakov has performed all of Beethoven’s piano concertos and almost all solo works around the globe. The pianist’s own conducting debut, with the Milan orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali in 2002 was dedicated to Beethoven’s works. He is only the second pianist in the world that has an active repertoire featuring all of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, piano concertos and Liszt-Beethoven symphonic transcriptions. The present recording is Scherbakov’s tribute to Ludwig van Beethoven, whose figure and spirit have become iconic in the history of human civilization.
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.