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Beethoven & Arnowitt V

For many pianists, performing all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas over the course of a single year is the ultimate challenge -- and a remarkable musical and spiritual experience for both performer and audience.

In 1989 Michael Arnowitt began his novel and unique presentation of the 32 sonatas, an odyssey that will last him not one year, but twenty-six. His concept is to traverse the 32 sonatas chronologically, matching up his age as he performs the various sonatas with Beethoven’s age as Beethoven composed them.

The project began in 1989 with a youthful Arnowitt and Beethoven’s spirited early sonatas. As he ages, Michael Arnowitt is gradually tackling Beethoven’s middle-period works, then the late, transcendent final sonatas, scheduled for performance not until the year 2015.

In many ways, the series of eight concerts will be a study in the psychology of aging: audiences hear how Beethoven developed as a composer, how Arnowitt develops as a pianist, and the intersection of the two processes.

Michael Arnowitt has performed “Beethoven & Arnowitt” concerts in Boston, Portland, Michigan, Vermont, New York state, Washington, D.C., and Canada. This new fifth installment in the series features three magnificent sonatas from Beethoven’s middle period: the “Tempest” Sonata; the Sonata in E-flat major, op. 31 no. 3; and the famous “Waldstein” Sonata.

As a special feature of the concert, Michael Arnowitt will in his performance of the “Waldstein” Sonata reinstate Beethoven’s original and beautiful slow movement, later excised and published separately as the “Andante favori.” Beethoven was possibly influenced to discard this lyrical gem due to concern that people of his time would consider the sonata too long. Concertgoers will get a rare chance to hear Beethoven’s original conception of the work as a full, substantial three-movement sonata.

“Beethoven & Arnowitt V” live concerts are in conjunction with the release of his new compact disc recording of Beethoven sonatas, featuring the “Pastoral” Sonata op. 28 and the early Sonata no. 4, op. 7, recorded in the outstanding acoustics of Toronto’s Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.


Sonata op. 31, no. 2 in D minor, “Tempest”
Sonata op. 31, no. 3 in E-flat major
Sonata op. 53 in C major, “Waldstein”