This series of podcasts are taken from the post-concert talks following each concert in Jonathan Biss' Beethoven Piano Sonata series. On Sunday 29 September, this took the form of a Question & Answer session with the audience.
Led by questions from the auditorium, Jonathan explores the evening concert programme and the development of Beethoven over the decade the performed works span. He discusses how teaching and preparing his Coursera lectures has affected his approach to playing the piano sonatas, and how an audience in Beethoven’s day might have reacted to the works.
Jonathan Biss, following the December concert in his Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycle, is joined by Antoine Lederlin and Krzysztof Chorzelski of the Belcea Quartet (who are currently performing the complete Beethoven String Quartets) for a discussion on their programmes. The conversation includes comparisons between the string quartets and piano sonatas, the co-existence of contrasting elements - human & superhuman, complex & banal - in the works, and what it's like performing a complete cycle by one composer ("living with" Beethoven).
Jonathan Biss is joined by composer and performer Brett Dean to talk about the latest in the Beethoven Piano Sonata cycle series. They discuss the strength of the different characters presented by Beethoven in each of the evening's sonatas, the way he can somehow unite the tension many composers find between expression and technique, and the audience grills the pair about the consequences of Beethoven's deafness and comparisons between him and his predecessors like Haydn. Biss is also close to the première of a new piano concerto composed by Dean for him, and they talk about the commission and its origins in the Austrian town of Gneixendorf.
Jonathan Biss is joined by composer Sally Beamish who wrote a piano concerto, City Stanzas for him. Together they discuss how this works responds to Beethoven's music.