The Sonata in B minor, S.178, is a sonata for solo piano by Franz Liszt. It was completed in 1853 and published in 1854 with a dedication to Robert Schumann.
Liszt noted on the sonata’s manuscript that it was completed on February 2, 1853, but he had composed an earlier version by 1849. At this point in his life, Liszt’s career as a traveling virtuoso had almost entirely subsided, as he had been influenced towards leading the life of a composer rather than a performer by Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein almost five years earlier. Liszt’s life was established in Weimar and he was living a comfortable lifestyle, composing, and occasionally performing, entirely by choice rather than necessity.
The Sonata was dedicated to Robert Schumann, in return for Schumann’s dedication of his Fantasie in C major, Op. 17 (published 1839) to Liszt. A copy of the Sonata arrived at Schumann’s house in May 1854, after he had entered Endenich sanatorium. His wife Clara Schumann did not perform the Sonata; according to scholar Alan Walker she found it “merely a blind noise”.
Emil Gilels, piano. Live recording, Naples, Italy – 04.04.72.
Tonight is the opening concert of the new season at Staatskapelle Dresden. Christian Thielemann will conduct Max Bruch’s famous violin concerto and Bruckner’s 1st Symphony. We celebrate the event with part one of our ’10 Best’ series of recommended recordings of the latter.
Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 1 in C minor (WAB 101) was the first symphony the composer thought worthy of performing, and bequeathing to the Vienna national library. Chronologically, it comes after the Study Symphony in F minor and before Symphony in D minor (“No. 0”). The first version of the Symphony No. 2 in C minor was completed after the Symphony in D minor.
The Symphony No. 1 was premiered under Bruckner in 1868. It was dedicated to the University of Vienna, after Bruckner was granted an honorary doctorate in 1891.
Bruckner gave it the nickname “das kecke Beserl”, roughly translated as “saucy maid”.
1a. Eugen Jochum with Berliner Philharmoniker (1965)
1b. Eugen Jochum with Staatskapelle Dresden (1978)
2. Gunter Wand with Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester (1981)
3. Wolfgang Sawallisch with Bayerisches Staatsorchester (1984)
4. Sir Georg Solti with Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1995)
5. Stanisław Skrowaczewski with Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra (1995)