One of the best known Beethoven piano sonatas, the Pathetique was written when the composer was 27 years old, dedicated to his friend Prinkce Karl von Lichnowsky. It established his reputation not only as an superb pianist, but also helped created the foundation of his reputation as a composer. The name was most likely picked by the composer himself to convey its romantic, even sorrowful mood.
Here it is played by Valentina Lisitsa whose ability to “penetrate through the satin curtains of soft playing” and “ the ferocity of her fortissimos” (Washington Post Online) might be a mirror to Beethoven’s own playing of this sonata.
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Valentina Lisitsa started learning the piano at age three and gave her first public recital a year later. A graduate from the Kiev Conservatory, where she met her husband and piano partner Alexei Kuznetsoff, they won the Dranoff 2 Piano Competiton in 1991and then moved to the United States to further their careers as concert pianists. Their New York debut was at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in 1995.
Now Valentina shares her time between Moscow and Rome.
The Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation