Jonathan Biss.



  • Piano Sonatas Volume 3

The most popular of Beethoven’s piano sonatas have titles, and this third installment of Jonathan Biss’ complete sonata cycle features two of these sonatas, the “Pastorale” and “Waldstein.”

Volume 3 of these piano sonatas contains two works composed in 1801. This was a year of experimentation and innovation for Beethoven, and it produced the Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ and the somewhat overlooked Op. 31/1.

The third sonata on this CD is one of the most famous: The ‘Waldstein’ Sonata, composed in 1803.

Tracks on this CD are:


  • Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’
  • Piano Sonata No. 16 in G major, Op. 31 No. 1
  • Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 ‘Waldstein’

Performed by Jonathan Biss (piano)

Beethoven’s development of the piano sonata took a dramatic turn in 1801, testing the sonata’s limits with a set of slow variations in lieu of a sonata-form Allegro in the Op.26, a multi-movement work played without pause in the Op. 27/1, and the remarkable opening movement of the ‘Moonlight’ Sonata, Op. 27/2.

I attended Jonathan Biss’ illustrated weekly talks on-line on ‘Discovering Beethoven’s Sonatas’ for the Curtis Institute; this was terrific preparation for enjoying this music all the more.

Mr. Biss employs a fairly traditional performance style, which requires maturity, sensitivity and musicality.

I have admired Jonathan Biss for his capabilities in the earlier volumes. Now it’s time to see if he wants to settle back and repeat his early performances or to explore new ground. Mostly he’s given us solid and thoughtful interpretations.

Here is the Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor: “Allegro molto e con brio” with Jonathan Biss:



And next, here is the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Pianist Jonathan Biss Performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto #4 in G Major:



Tags: Jonathan Biss, Beethoven, Sonatas, Volume 3