- Audio CD (10 Feb 2003)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Harmonia Mundi
- ASIN: B000084SY5
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 239,084 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Sandwiched between Weber's works is the sonata (op.33) of 1809 by Ferdinand Ries. A gifted composer in his own right, too often he is referred to only as Beethoven's pupil. Although in awe of his former teacher, Ries's music has its own identity. Unlike the Weber, this sonata is in a minor key and alternates fairly jovial themes with darker material throughout much of the sonata-form first movement. The gentle middle adagio is particularly finely crafted and effective. The lively finale has several danse-like episodes - listen out for the use of the piano's turkish pedal towards the end of the movement.
Pierre-André Taillard plays a copy of a 9-key clarinet of c1800, whilst Edoardo Torbianelli plays two different Graf fortepianos (1820 and 1822/23). The instruments really bring life to the music: the clarinet is full of character, with a soft treble and dark lower register; the fortepianos are both nicely voiced and not overbright, as is appropriate for pianos of this era. Performances are first rate all round with a nice sense of equality between the musicians even if the music sometimes favours the clarinet. This CD can be recommended for the excellent Ries sonata alone, the more familiar Weber being a bonus.