Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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Besides its stylistic incongruousness, Beethoven may have been prompted to replace the ‘Andante favori’ because its inclusion would have resulted in two rondos placed side by side. A memorable feature of the Andante’s theme is that it incorporates a composed fade-out which makes way for the sound of distant horns. In the various reprises of the theme during the course of the piece, the left-hand part becomes increasingly intricate—an idea that is counteracted in the abridged final return, where a moment of stasis ushers in an elaborate coda in which the music finds its rest over a long pedal-note deep in the bass, allowing the piano to resonate with the aid of the sustaining pedal—as it so often does in the sonata’s finale. Of the rondo’s two intervening episodes, the first is graceful and balletic, while the second, featuring ‘running’ octaves, is more energetic.
from notes by Misha Donat © 2018