Complete Piano Music
The collection brings together Wagner's entire output for solo piano. The earliest sonata on the recording is the Piano Sonata in B flat, which shows evidence of Wagner's music education, with much indebted to the Beethovian model as well as to the great pianist-composers Weber and Pleyel. These influences are heard again in the more mature and complex Große Sonate - a work that Wagner intended to turn into a symphony, though this attempt was later abandoned. A regular dedicatee of Wagner's works was Mathilde Wesendock - the relationship between the two is still much debated today - and among the works in this collection, three are dedicated to Mathilde: the 'masterpiece' Eine Sonate für das Album von Frau Mathilde Wesendock, Notenbrief für Mathilde Wesendonck and the 'Schluß zum Vorspiel' from Tristan und Isolde. The 'Tristan chord' at the beginning of the latter has become considered a clear attestation of Wagner's infatuation with Mathilde, for whom he stopped work on the Ring cycle to begin that great testament of love, Tristan und Isolde. New recording (2012) by one of Italy's leading pianists, Pier Paolo Vincenzi. Amidst the flood of Wagner issues for the 2013 Wagner's Bicentennial this double CD presents an often hidden aspect of opera-composer Wagner: his complete pianistic output. Wagner's piano works show his development as a composer during his entire lifespan: from the early Sonata showing influence of Weber and Pleyel, to the "Wagnerian" Grosse Sonate, mature and epic in scope, to later pieces, often written for Mathilde Wesendonck, secretly expressing his love for her. Though not all eternal masterworks, Wagner's piano works show a fascinating aspect of the operatic genius.