Tessa Uys & Ben Schoeman – Beethoven: Symphonies, Vol. 2 (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 01:05:02 minutes | 929 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © SOMM Recordings
SOMM Recordings is delighted to announce the eagerly-awaited second volume of the Tessa Uys and Ben Schoeman Piano Duo’s ground-breaking series exploring Franz Xaver Scharwenka’s transcriptions of Beethoven Symphonies. A composer of no mean stature in his own right, Scharwenka’s transcriptions were once widely admired, his treatments of Beethoven’s Symphonies a high-watermark of the genre.
Volume 1 met with universal acclaim; Gramophone praising the “mastery” of the performances, BBC Music finding it “utterly beguiling” and MusicWeb International declaring “I was blown away by this magnificent recording”. Volume 2 features the first recording of Scharwenka’s transcription of Beethoven’s iconic Fifth Symphony for piano duet. Claiming a direct connection to Beethoven via his teacher Franz Kullak, who had studied with Beethoven’s pupil Carl Czerny, Scharwenka provides a virtuosic reimagining of the Fifth’s tremendous scale, organic growth and seething energy.
The Variations on a Theme of Beethoven by Saint-Saëns show him, Robert Matthew-Walker says in his informative booklet notes, “at his most brilliant and searching … beautiful, imposing and elegant, as well as humorous”. Robert Schumann’s Andante and Variations in B-flat reveal Romanticism’s quintessential musical poet at his most emotionally acute: “overhung with a pervading sense of intimacy, the music unfolds as a series of reflections upon the Andante theme, refracted in genuine variation styles of tempo, rhythm, tonalities (beautifully implied) and characteré”.
Born in Cape Town and a Royal Academy of Music Associate, Tessa Uys has an impressive reputation as a concert and broadcasting performer, appearing at major venues around the world. Her multi-prize-winning South African compatriot Ben Schoeman has a busy international profile and is currently a senior lecturer in piano and musicology at the University of Pretoria. First playing as a Duo in 2010, their admired explorations of Scharwenka’s four-hand Beethoven transcriptions on the concert platform began in 2015.
01. Tessa Uys & Ben Schoeman – Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (Arr. F.X. Scharwenka for Piano Duet): I. Allegro con brio (07:32)
02. Tessa Uys & Ben Schoeman – Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (Arr. F.X. Scharwenka for Piano Duet): II. Andante con moto (09:04)
03. Tessa Uys & Ben Schoeman – Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (Arr. F.X. Scharwenka for Piano Duet): III. Scherzo. Allegro (04:50)
04. Tessa Uys & Ben Schoeman – Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (Arr. F.X. Scharwenka for Piano Duet): IV. Allegro (11:42)
05. Tessa Uys & Ben Schoeman – Schumann: Andante & Variations in B-Flat Major, Op. 46 (13:36)
06. Tessa Uys & Ben Schoeman – Saint-Saëns: Variations on a Theme of Beethoven in E-Flat Major, Op. 35, R. 66 (18:16)