The album titled 'Before the Last' includes two masterpieces: Beethoven's penultimate Piano Sonata in A flat major (Op. 110) and Schubert's Piano Sonata in A major (D 959).
In 1820 Beethoven concluded an agreement with his publisher on composing three piano sonatas. The Piano Sonata in E major, dedicated to Euphrosine Kunigunde Brentano, was finished within a relatively short time. After that, however, he often felt sick or other pieces took most of his time. In the spring of 1821 he asked for some patience but his publisher received the Piano Sonata in A flat major and the Piano Sonata in C minor only a year later. After that, Beethoven did not write sonatas any more. That chapter was closed, he dedicated himself to other genres.
As for Schubert, however, his last period was definitely characterized by the genre of the sonata. The sketches of the Sonatas in C minor, A major and B major were written in March, 1828 and all of them were finished by autumn. At the end of September he was playing excerpts from all the three sonatas during an evening arranged by a friend, not knowing that it turns out to be the last public performance of his life.
Photo: László Mudra
The album will soon be available in music shops or can be ordered on the website:
For a sneak peek click here and here.