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Album of the Week

Classical WETA 90.9 FM showcases notable new (or newly reissued) albums each week. Hear selections from the album on-air throughout the week, and check online to learn more about the artist and the music.

November 30, 2020

Beethoven: The Complete Piano Concertos

Beethoven: The Complete Piano Concertos

Orchid Classics 100127

Our featured Album of the Week shines the spotlight on the young Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear. Earlier this year, he released a recording of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos, partnering with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales led by Andrew Constantine. 

This album follows Goodyear's award-winning collection of the complete piano sonatas by Beethoven. He comments on his early exposure to Beethoven: 

“My journey with the Beethoven piano concerti began at age 9 when I first entered a national piano competition in Canada (in which I competed until the age of 12). In the final round, the competitors had to choose a movement from a concerto. Another side of Beethoven was introduced to me as I heard my competitors perform these works: a side of great theatre, great drama, great virtuosity, and most importantly, great merriment. I felt like I was hearing Beethoven the entertainer, the actor, the storyteller, the playwright. So now, I saw three sides of Beethoven: the sonatas were pursuits of inner truth; the symphonies pursuits of the highest qualities in humanity; the piano concerti pursuits of unbridled joy.” 

-- Stewart Goodyear

Also Featured

Beethoven: Complete Symphonies

Beethoven: Complete Symphonies

DG 483.7071

As we continue our Beethoven 250 Celebration, the recent Vienna Philharmonic recording of the symphonies with conductor Andris Nelsons features prominently in our playlist. For suggestions of what to listen for in the performances, be sure to tune in for the features that accompany each presentation of the symphony or its movements. 

Igor Levit: Beethoven Complete Piano Sonatas

Igor Levit: Beethoven Complete Piano Sonatas

Sony 584318

As we continue presenting all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas during our Beethoven 250 Celebration, we turn to Sonatas #26 through 28, which includes the well-loved "Farewell" sonata. This recording of the complete sonatas by the young pianist Igor Levit has gained a lot of attention, for good reason. He was just named Artist of the Year by Gramophone Magazine, and this recording earned the Instrumental Award

 

Beethoven: "Für Elise," Bagatelles

Beethoven: "Für Elise," Bagatelles

Harmonia Mundi 902416

We continue our exploration of a new album by British pianist Paul Lewis, this week featuring the ever-popular Für Elise.

Beethoven Variations: Angela Hewitt

Beethoven Variations: Angela Hewitt

Hyperion 68346

This new recording by Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt features seven of Beethoven’s sets of variations for piano solo, many of which we're featuring during our Beethoven 250 Celebration.

It was shortly after these recording sessions in January that movers dropped and destroyed Hewitt’s Fazioli grand piano. She joins many pianists in preferring Fazioli pianos and her model was a rarity in its inclusion of a fourth pedal. She makes this statement in the booklet that accompanies the Beethoven Variations recording:

This album is the last of my many recordings for Hyperion made using my own Fazioli F2781009 (every recordingsince October 2003, with just two exceptions for which I used other Faziolis). When the present recording sessions were over, the movers accidentally dropped it, and the piano came to an untimely end. The loss was devastating, as I loved it so much and it did everything I wanted it to do. May this recording be a testament to its huge range of colour that always served the music so well. 
-- Angela Hewitt