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9.3.13

Dip Your Ears, No. 128 (Beethoven via Neefe)

available at Amazon
C.G.Neefe (Ludwig van Beethoven), Twelve Sonatas
(9 Dressler Variations WoO 63)

S.Kagan
Grand Piano 615-16

A promise greater than its musical possessions: Twelve Sonatas by Christian Gottlob Neefe (1748-1798), the man who taught Beethoven the rudiments of composition, treatment of the piano, and introduced him to Bach. Alas, it isn’t the nascent genius of Beethoven’s Sonatas that these sonatas reveal, but instead rigorous didacticism. There’s great variation within great sameness among this dozen pieces, in post-Baroque and early-Classical style, without ever hitting fanciful Galant stride. A string of plain niceties, earnestly performed by Susan Kagan, of interest to musical Beethoven-anthropologists and perhaps piano students stuck learning one of these sonatas. Young Beethoven’s very early ‘Dressler Variations’ aren’t much better.