Beethoven: The Last Three Piano Sonatas with the Hsu siblings: Ashley Hsu (Piano’15); Andrew Hsu (Piano ’13 and Composition ’15); and Daniel Hsu (Piano). Andrew and Daniel came to Curtis in 2008, Ashley followed in 2010 from Fremont, CA. This special On Stage At Curtis takes a look into the sibling’s lives at Curtis and their road to performing the last three piano sonata of Beethoven.
Beethoven: Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109
Ashley Hsu, piano
Beethoven was almost completely deaf when he wrote his last three piano sonatas composed between 1820-1823. Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109 is his 30th sonata dedicated to Maximiliane Bentrano, daughter of Beethoven’s longtime friend Antonie Brentano. This piano sonata is considered one Beethoven’s masterpieces. The movements are marked: Vivace, ma non troppo; Prestissimo; Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo
Beethoven: Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110
Daniel Hsu, piano
Daniel describes Beethoven’s Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110 as religious in the sound and very meditative. The movements are marked: Moderato cantabile molto espressivo; Allegro molto; Adagio ma non troppo—Arioso dolente—Fuga: Allegro ma non troppo.
Beethoven: Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111
Andrew Hsu, piano
This two “highly contrasting” movement piece marked: Maestoso—Allegro con brio ed appassionato; Arietta: Adagio molto semplice e cantabile runs about thirty minutes long and is the last of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. Andrew describes the first movement as stormy and furious and the second movement, the longer of the two, soul searching and a very personal statement even for Beethoven.