Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

Beethoven Symphonies, Volume 4


Label: ,
Catalogue No: SOMMCD 0677
Release Date: 2023-10-20
Number of Discs: 1
EAN/UPC: 748871067721
Liner Notes

SOMM Recordings is happy to present the fourth release in the planned First Recordings of the complete Beethoven Symphonies in the legendary edition for piano duet by Xaver Scharwenka, continuing a direct connection to Beethoven via his teacher Franz Kullak who studied with Beethoven’s pupil Carl Czerny, played by the ‘wholly exceptional’ duo of Tessa Uys and Ben Schoeman. This new CD couples Beethoven’s Symphonies 1 & 6 ‘Pastoral’ together with Busoni’s brilliant Concertino BV88 on a theme of Mozart K459, for Two Pianos.

Extract from the Duo’s recent Gramophone Blog: We would like to highlight our personal historical connection to this music – particularly the Zeitgeist of Berlin, the city where Scharwenka lived and worked. Tessa’s mother Helga Bassel was a concert pianist who also hailed from Berlin, and in the 1930s had to seek refuge in Cape Town. She was indeed fortunate to be able to leave Germany accompanied by her Blüthner grand piano and her collection of piano music which included Scharwenka’s duo transcriptions of the nine Beethoven symphonies.”


Previous releases in this ground-breaking set have received outstanding reviews:

‘Uys and Schoeman play marvellously…SOMM’s fine sonics do justice both to the performers and to their superbly regulated Steinway model D concert grand’ (Classics Today)

‘I was immediately struck by the orchestral quality of their sound – this is an exhilarating account’ (Rebecca Franks, BBC Music Magazine)

‘The result is stunning…these are two superb pianists who breathe through all this music as if they were one’ (Gramophone)

‘In a pure state…the work’s argument has a drivenness and gloriousness that seems to define what a musical argument might be…’ (The Sunday Times)

‘This is undoubtedly superb musicianship throughout’ (Musical Opinion)

This new recording is fully up to the superlative standards with which this most gifted of piano duo’s previous recordings have been acclaimed. SOMM is proud to continue this unique integral series of world premiere Beethoven releases.

On This Recording

Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21*
  1. I. Adagio molto – Allegro con brio (9:14)
  2. II. Andante cantabile con moto (8:03)
  3. III. Menuetto: Allegro molto e vivace (3:26)
  4. IV. Finale: Adagio – Allegro molto e vivace (5:10)
Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 ‘Pastoral’*
  1. I. Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande: Allegro ma non troppo (11:47)
  2. II. Szene am Bach: Andante molto mosso (11:15)
  3. III. Lustiges Zusammensein der Landleute: Allegro (4:49)
  4. IV. Gewitter, Sturm: Allegro (4:09)
  5. V. Hirtengesang. Frohe und dankbare Gefühle nach dem Sturn: Allegretto (8:09)
Ferruccio Busoni
  1. Duettino concertante BV88 nach Mozart K459, for 2 pianos. Allegro assai**
Symphonies 1 & 6: First Recordings *Ben Schoeman, primo Tessa Uys, secondo **Tessa Uys, primo Ben Schoeman, secondo