Hyperion Records

Piano Sonata No 4 in A minor, Op 100
composer
c1876/80

Recordings
'Rubinstein: Complete Piano Sonatas' (CDD22007)
Rubinstein: Complete Piano Sonatas
Buy by post £10.50 CDD22007  2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)  
Details
Movement 1: Moderato con moto
Track 5 on CDD22007 CD2 [15'23] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Movement 2: Allegro vivace
Track 6 on CDD22007 CD2 [6'57] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Movement 3: Andante
Track 7 on CDD22007 CD2 [10'48] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Movement 4: Allegro assai
Track 8 on CDD22007 CD2 [8'18] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)

Piano Sonata No 4 in A minor, Op 100
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In the more than a quarter of a century which separates the third from the fourth of the Rubinstein sonatas (the fourth appeared in 1880) lie only two of his major works for piano—the Fantasy, Opus 77, and the Theme and Variations, Opus 88, both of which are larger than any of the earlier sonatas and show a very different weight of thought from the dozens of character pieces which otherwise fill the Rubinstein piano œuvre. The fourth sonata turns out to be in this grand mould, on a much broader scale than the others, and is almost leisurely in its expansiveness.

There are two parts to the first theme of the Moderato con moto: a strong rhythmic motif marked appassionato e con espressione and a gentler rising theme accompanied by triplet chords. An animated transition passage leads to the second group of themes: a lyrical melody which is immediately extended and developed, and a codetta which contains two more melodic ideas, the second of which introduces the development after the exposition is repeated. All the themes other than the lyrical second subject play a part in the development, and the opening theme is treated fugally. The regular recapitulation is rounded off with a short coda.

The scherzo is a very powerful affair whose skittish moments are generally interrupted by gruff cadences on the off beats, and there is some occasional mildly experimental dissonance. The calmer trio section curiously calls to mind the Grieg of the Lyric Pieces, with its two-bar phrases and delicate syncopations.

The slow movement is very generous with melody—the exposition contains seven distinct themes, three in the home key of F major before a more animated theme in 5/8 introduces D flat. A modulatory theme leads to the second subject and codetta in C major. Development is confined to the first of the themes, but the recapitulation introduces many variations in texture and tonality. A second development turns out to be a long valediction on the first subject group.

The finale is a very busy moto perpetuo with a theme appearing in octaves in the bass before it undergoes the first of many transformations. A brief attempt at a lyrical second theme is doomed by the insistent return of the first for development, but a more expressive section intervenes before the recapitulation, in which the second subject finally takes wing before precipitating headlong into the conclusion.

from notes by Leslie Howard İ 1996

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA66105 track 1
Moderato con moto
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-81-10505
Duration
15'23
Recording date
25 October 1981
Recording venue
Art Workers Guild, Queen Square, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner
Hyperion usage
  1. Rubinstein: Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 4 (CDA66105)
    Disc 1 Track 1
    Release date: March 1990
    Deletion date: September 1996
    Superseded by CDD22007
  2. Rubinstein: Complete Piano Sonatas (CDD22007)
    Disc 2 Track 5
    Release date: September 1996
    2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
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