Beethoven Symphonies, Vol. 1 Tessa Uys & Ben Schoeman

Cover Beethoven Symphonies, Vol. 1

Album info



Label: SOMM Recordings

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Instrumental

Artist: Tessa Uys & Ben Schoeman

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827): Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 "Eroica" (Arr. F.X. Scharwenka for Piano 4 Hands):
  • 1Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 "Eroica" (Arr. F.X. Scharwenka for Piano 4 Hands): I. Allegro con brio18:28
  • 2Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 "Eroica" (Arr. F.X. Scharwenka for Piano 4 Hands): II. Marcia funebre. Adagio assai15:10
  • 3Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 "Eroica" (Arr. F.X. Scharwenka for Piano 4 Hands): III. Scherzo. Allegro vivace05:34
  • 4Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 "Eroica" (Arr. F.X. Scharwenka for Piano 4 Hands): IV. Finale. Allegro molto12:36
  • Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856): 6 Studies in Canonic Form, Op. 56 (Arr. C. Debussy for 2 Pianos):
  • 5Schumann: 6 Studies in Canonic Form, Op. 56 (Arr. C. Debussy for 2 Pianos): No. 1 in C Major, Nicht zu schnell01:58
  • 6Schumann: 6 Studies in Canonic Form, Op. 56 (Arr. C. Debussy for 2 Pianos): No. 2 in A Minor, Mit innigem Ausdruck03:25
  • 7Schumann: 6 Studies in Canonic Form, Op. 56 (Arr. C. Debussy for 2 Pianos): No. 3 in E Major, Andantino01:44
  • 8Schumann: 6 Studies in Canonic Form, Op. 56 (Arr. C. Debussy for 2 Pianos): No. 4 in A-Flat Major, Innig03:08
  • 9Schumann: 6 Studies in Canonic Form, Op. 56 (Arr. C. Debussy for 2 Pianos): No. 5 in B Minor, Nicht zu schnell02:14
  • 10Schumann: 6 Studies in Canonic Form, Op. 56 (Arr. C. Debussy for 2 Pianos): No. 6 in B Major, Adagio03:55
  • Total Runtime01:08:12

Info for Beethoven Symphonies, Vol. 1

Formed in 2010, the Duo began their in-concert exploration of Scharwenka’s four-hand Beethoven transcriptions in 2015 and now bring that experience to disc for the first time.

Volume 1 includes the premiere recording of Scharwenka’s piano duet transcription of Symphony No.3, the ever-popular Eroica, and Debussy’s two-piano arrangement of Robert Schumann’s Six Studies in Canonic Form.

As Robert Matthew-Walker’s booklet notes reveal, Scharwenka had a direct line to Beethoven, having been taught by Franz Kullak, who was tutored by Carl Czerny whose own teacher, in turn, had been Beethoven himself.

A composer of no mean stature in his own right, Scharwenka’s transcriptions were once widely admired, making masterpiece symphonies available to every home with a piano. Possessing, says Matthew-Walker, “significant qualities which are often overlooked today”, his Eroica transcription receives ardent, eloquently persuasive championing by Schoeman and Uys.

Scharwenka wasn’t alone in exploiting new developments in piano technology. Robert Schumann’s Six Studies in Canonic Form made use of the then novel ‘pedal-piano’ (a standard piano with an additional bass pedal-board) even as he was looking back stylistically towards his idol, Bach. Debussy’s arrangement for two pianos adroitly accommodates Schumann’s original to “rescue this fine music from the obscurity of the pedal-piano repertoire”.

Born in Cape Town and a Royal Academy of Music Associate, Tessa Uys has an impressive reputation as a concert and broadcasting performer, appearing at major venues throughout the world. Her multi-prize-winning South African compatriot Ben Schoeman also has a busy international profile and is currently a senior lecturer in piano and musicology at the University of Pretoria.

Tessa Uys, piano
Ben Schoeman, piano

Tessa Uys
Born in Cape Town into an exceptionally musical and theatrical family Tessa Uys is one of South Africa’s most distinguished concert pianists. She was first taught by her mother Helga Bassel, herself a noted concert performer who fled to South Africa to escape Nazi persecution. Her father, Hannes Uys, was a formidable champion of choral music in South Africa and founder/director of one of the country’s leading children’s choirs.

Tessa Uys gave her first public performance at the age of seven and made her concerto debut at 13 with the Cape Town Municipal Orchestra conducted by David Tidboald. At 16, whilst still at school,she won a Royals Schools Associated Board Scholarship and continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London where she studied with Gordon Green. Here she won many prizes, and in her final year was awarded the top prize, the Macfarren Medal. Further studies in London with Maria Curcio and in Siena, Italy with Guido Agosti. Shortly after this, Tessa Uys won the Royal Overseas League competition. During the past three decades, Tessa Uys has established herself an impressive reputation, both as concert performer and as a broadcasting artiste, performing at many of the major concert venues throughout the world. She is also in demand as examiner,teacher and adjudicator.

Tessa Uys made the first broadcast recordings of the Godowsky transcriptions of 12 Schubert songs for both BBC Radio 3 and Radio Hilversum in Holland. She has given thirteen recitals at the Wigmore Hall, as well as at St John’s Smith Square, and Southbank. Her wide-ranging repertoire encompasses Scarlatti and Brahms, Chopin and De Falla, Rachmaninov and Leos Janacek. She has recorded Bach’s Goldberg Variations for BBC Radio 3, and subsequently toured this demandingly virtuoso work throughout the UK, Europe and South Africa. Her empathy for Schumann’s music has been compared to that of Cortot, and is characterised by that empathetic approach so closely associated with her eminent predecessor.

Tessa Uys has played under such distinguished conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Walter Susskind and Louis Fremaux, Matthias Baemert and Nicholas Kraemer. She has also enjoyed the distinction of working with the film director John Schlesinger on his film ‘Madame Sousatzka’, starring Shirley MacLaine. In 1994 she was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. In the year 2000, to mark the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death, she recorded the Goldberg Variations released as a double CD for GSE Claremont records. Since her last recital at the Wigmore Hall Tessa Uys has performed in South Africa, Germany and the United Kingdom.

In recent years, Tessa Uys arranged an emotive journey of a Bluethner grand piano.The piano belonged to her German-born mother,who took it from Berlin to Cape Town in the late 1930’s. Now the instrument has made it’s final voyage back to the land of it’s creation, where it occupies the pride of place at the Berlin Jewish Museum,completing an elegant parabola from Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa to new eras in both lands.

Ben Schoeman
The South African pianist and Steinway Artist Ben Schoeman has won major prizes, including the first grand prize in the 11th UNISA Vodacom International Piano Competition, Pretoria (2008), the gold medal and Lorna Viol prize in the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition, London (2009), the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music (2011) and the contemporary music prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition, USA (2013). In 2016, he was awarded the Huberte Rupert Prize from the South African Academy of Arts and Sciences for his contribution to music in his native country.

He has given solo, chamber music and concerto performances throughout Europe, Canada, the USA and South Africa in such prestigious concert halls as the Wigmore, Barbican, Cadogan and Queen Elizabeth Halls in London, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Gulbenkian Auditorium in Lisbon, Teatro del Giglio in Lucca, the Cape Town City Hall and the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. He has performed at festivals in the United Kingdom (City of London, Edinburgh Fringe, King’s Lynn and Chester Festivals), Italy (Festival da Bach à Bartók and Festival Mario Ghislandi), South Africa (Grahamstown, KKNK and Woordfees), Romania (George Enescu Festival) and Canada (Ottawa Chamber Music Festival). He has recently appeared as soloist in Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand and Tchaikovsky’s Concerto no. 1 with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Hall in London. His critically-acclaimed renditions of Liszt’s Piano Concertos nos. 1 and 2 with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra are frequently broadcast on South African national television. He has performed with numerous conductors, including Nicholas Cleobury, Carlos Izcaray, James Judd, Gérard Korsten, Theodore Kuchar, Diego Masson, En Shao, Yasuo Shinozaki, Arjan Tien and Conrad van Alphen. He also regularly collaborates with pianist Tessa Uys and flautist Dawid Venter.

In collaboration with his duo partner, cellist Anzél Gerber, Ben Schoeman was awarded the first prize in the Ibla Grand Prize Competition in Italy. The duo performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and has received the gold medal in the Global Music Awards for their recording of music by Anton Rubinstein. The eminent South African composer Stefans Grové dedicated his Concerto for Piano, Cello and Orchestra ‘Bushman Prayers’ (2013) to Gerber and Schoeman, and they premiered the work with the Cape and KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestras in during their recent nationwide concert tour.

Ben Schoeman studied at the University of Pretoria, the International Piano Academy in Imola, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole. His teachers include Michel Dalberto, Louis Lortie, Ronan O’Hora, Boris Petrushansky, Joseph Stanford and Eliso Virsaladze. In 2016, he obtained a doctorate in music from City, University of London and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with a thesis entitled ‘The Piano Works of Stefans Grové (1922-2014): A Study of Stylistic Influences, Technical Elements and Canon Formation in South African Art Music’. His doctoral studies were supervised by Christopher Wiley and supported by the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, the National Research Foundation, the Wingate Scholarships, the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers and the Drake Calleja Trust.

His solo album, featuring works of Franz Liszt, is available under the TwoPianists label and he has recorded music of Rubinstein and Rachmaninoff with cellist Anzél Gerber. His performance in London with pianist Tessa Uys of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, arranged for piano duet by Xaver Scharwenka, will be broadcast on kykNet television in 2019.

Ben Schoeman is a senior lecturer in music at the University of Pretoria, where he received the Laureate Award.

Booklet for Beethoven Symphonies, Vol. 1

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