The Beethoven Project

contact

Xenia Groh-Hu

xh(at)karstenwitt.com

+49 30 214 594-224

General Management

CR_Marc Ginot

Concept

The works of Ludwig van Beethoven have played an essential role for François-Frédéric Guy since the start of his career. He now presents almost the complete piano works by Beethoven in a large project arranged in three parts: the 32 piano sonatas, 5 piano concertos and complete chamber music with piano.

...read François-Frédéric Guy's biography

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1st act – the 32 piano sonatas

The 32 sonatas for piano solo in 10 concerts & 2 days of rest


References :
François-Frédéric Guy has performed seven complete sonata cycles so far:
- Monte-Carlo, Printemps des Arts, 2008
- Paris, Cité de la Musique, 2008
- Washington, Maison française, 2009
- L'Arsenal de Metz, 2009 - 2013 (live recordings for Zig-Zag Territoires)
- Norwich Chamber Music (UK), 2011
- La Côte-Saint-André (FR), Festival Berlioz, 2013
- Rio de Janeiro, Sala Cecília Meireles, 2015

Concert 1
Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2 No. 1
Sonata No. 2 in A minor, Op. 2 No. 2
Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2 No. 3

Concert 2
Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10 No. 1
Sonata No. 6 in F major, Op. 10 No. 2
Sonata No. 7 in D major, Op. 10 No. 3

Concert 3
Sonata No. 4 in E flat major, Op. 7
Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 14 No. 2
Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 Pathétique

Concert 4
Sonata No. 11 in B flat major, Op. 22
Sonata No. 13 in E flat major, Op. 27 No. 1 Quasi una fantasia
Sonate No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 Moonlight

Concert 5
Sonata No. 16 in G major, Op. 31 No. 1
Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2 Tempest
Sonata No. 18 in E flat major, Op. 31 No. 3

Concert 6
Sonata No. 9 in E major, Op. 14 No. 1
Sonata No. 12 in A flat major, Op. 26 Marche funèbre
Sonata No. 26 in E flat major, Op. 81a Les Adieux

Concert 7
Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 Pastorale
Sonata No. 19 in g minor, Op. 49 No. 1
Sonata No. 20 in G major, Op. 49 No. 2
Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 Waldstein

Concert 8
Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54
Sonata No. 24 in F sharp major, Op. 78 A Thérèse
Sonata No. 25 in G major, Op. 79 Alla Tedesca
Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 Appassionata

Concert 9
Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90
Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101
Sonata No. 29 in B flat major, Op. 106 Hammerklavier

Concert 10
Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109
Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110
Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111
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2nd act – the 5 piano concertos

The 5 piano concertos and the Choral Fantasy in 2 or 3 concerts


References
- Recording of the five piano concertos with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France & Philippe Jordan (Naïve Classique)
- Several complete cycles, a.o. with the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège (play/conduct, 2012-2014), Orchestre Lyrique Avignon Provence (play/conduct, 2014), Orchestre de Limoges et du Limousin (2014) and at the Arsenal de Metz (2015)
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3rd act – the chamber music

Scene 1: the complete music for cello and piano (2 concerts) with Xavier Phillips
The 5 cello sonatas & variations on "See the conqu'ring hero comes", "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen" and "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen"

Scene 2: the complete violin sonatas (3 concerts) with Tedi Papavrami

Scene 3: the complete piano trios (5 concerts) with Tedi Papavrami and Xavier Phillips


References :
- Arsenal de Metz
- Monte-Carlo, Printemps des Arts
- La Côte-Saint-André (FR), Festival Berlioz
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Recordings

Beethoven: The Complete Piano Sonatas

Beethoven: The Complete Piano Sonatas

9 CDs, Box-Set
Zig-Zag Territoires, 2013
ZZT 333

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol. 3

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol. 3

3 CD, Box-Set
Zig-Zag Territoires, 2013
ZZT 318

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol. 2

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol. 2

3 CD, Box-Set
Zig-Zag Territoires, 2012
ZZT 304

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol. 1

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol. 1

3 CD, Box-Set
Zig-Zag Territoires, 2012
ZZT 101

Beethoven: The Complete Piano Concertos

Beethoven: The Complete Piano Concertos

François-Frédéric Guy, piano / Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France / Philippe Jordan
3 CD, Box-Set
Naïve Classique, 2010

Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3

Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3

François-Frédéric Guy, piano / Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France / Philippe Jordan
Naïve Classique, 2009

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 & Quintet for Piano and Winds

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 & Quintet for Piano and Winds

François-Frédéric Guy, piano / Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France / Philippe Jordan
Naïve Classique, 2008

Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 5

Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 5

François-Frédéric Guy, piano / Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France / Philippe Jordan
Naïve Classique, 2008

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas

Hammerklavier, Pathétique, Op. 49 No. 1
Naïve Classique, 2006

Beethoven: Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 & 3, Variations (Vol. 2)

Beethoven: Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 & 3, Variations (Vol. 2)

Anne Gastinel, cello / François-Frédéric Guy, piano
Naïve Classique, 2004

Beethoven: Cello Sonatas Nos. 2, 4, 5 (Vol. 1)

Beethoven: Cello Sonatas Nos. 2, 4, 5 (Vol. 1)

Anne Gastinel, cello / François-Frédéric Guy, piano
Naïve Classique, 2002

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Reviews

RESMUSICA, 05/09/2015, Jean-Luc Clairet
The whole evening is architected by a pianist who gets the balance between authority and reflection just right. Seated with his back to the audience in front of a Steinway with the lid removed, as happy as a child facing the prospect of a toy, a kindly demiurge, François-Frédéric Guy expertly navigates between the piano and conducting the orchestra. Guy from the back, Beethoven from the front, certainly! (…) His indefatigability and almost intimate knowledge of the composer’s intentions, transform what could simply be a performance into an extraordinary inner journey into Beethoven’s thoughts.

LE MONDE, 31/08/2015, Pierre Gervasoni
Very fast, sitting at the piano, he gives the impression of being at one with the ensemble which accompanies him on a journey that was masterfully handled, from serene exploration to festive conquest. The audience rejoices. (…) In this highly modern realm, François-Frédéric Guy is marvellous and ideally serves a music that always goes beyond the horizon that was set.

LE DAUPHINÉ LIBÉRÉ, 29/08/2015, Jean-Luc Coppi
François-Frédéric Guy gives free rein to his sensitivity and virtuosity to offer a sumptuous and stunning version of these concertos to the delighted audience. (…) A well-deserved ovation paid tribute to the artistic and successful performance of this ambitious “Beethoven Project”, enhanced by the talented pianist.


LES AFFICHES D’ALSACE ET DE LORRAINE, 20/02/2015, Suzanne Pierron, about the concert with Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg under M. Nesterowicz
And the pianist took to the stage, playing elegant, light and nimble arabesques, whilst developing the two themes [of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1] which were presented by the orchestra with delicate, sophisticated and vivid nuances. The soloist’s long cadenza, which had great harmonic and artistic richness, filled the audience with wonder. The Largo, led by the piano and responded to by the orchestra with great serenity, sounded like a tender Lied during which the pianist was able to express his sensitivity in all its refinement.

BACHTRACK.COM, 10/11/2014, Frances Wilson, about the Beethoven recital at Wigmore Hall
Occasionally one comes across an artist who seems so at one with the music, that one can almost hear the composer at the artist’s shoulder saying ”yes, that is what I meant”. Such was the effect of French pianist François-Frédéric Guy’s performance of Beethoven’s final Piano Sonata, the Op.111, at London’s Wigmore hall on Friday night: a performance replete in insight and an emotional intensity which comes from a long association with and admiration for this composer and his music.

BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, August 2013, Misha Donat, about recording of Beethoven sonatas for Zig-Zag Territoires
This new ‘live’ version [of the Hammerklavier Sonata] is an altogether enthralling experience. The Hammerklavier is Beethoven’s only sonata to carry authentic mentronome markings, and if Guy’s account of the opening doesn’t quite match the almost impossibly fast indicated speed, it conveys all the energy and momentum the music requires. The great slow movement is slightly more flowing than it was in Guy’s previous recording, but it captures the music’s profound melancholy no less movingly; while the concluding fugue is an appropriately hair-raising tour de force.

DIAPASON, 03/2013, Étienne Moreau
But the highlight of this CD box-set is the trilogy of final sonatas, which he performs with astonishing assurance. Rigorous thought, precise ideas, a sense of buildup, mastering the richness of sound and the melody – he often approaches perfection. The arietta and variations of the opus 111 – the purpose of the journey being both the end of the world and beginning of the universe – can be noted for their remarkable achievement. At this point, one realises that Francois-Frédéric Guy’s work, patience and love for Beethoven have resulted in one of the most convincing recordings of the last years.

GRAMOPHONE, 10/2012, Harriet Smith
It’s Beethoven the master dramatist that comes across most clearly, to particularly compelling effect in the mighty coda of the Appassionata, in the Adagio of the Tempest, which he imbues with unblinking intensity, and in the opening movement of the Waldstein. (…) Guy’s approach is refreshing in its directness and honesty and – at his best – he is a highly persuasive Beethovenian.

THE WASHINGTON POST, 24/11/2009, Anne Midgette, about the complete Beethoven sonata cycle at the Institut Français in Washington
Rather than bringing the music back to earth, as some players do, Guy let the last bars remain otherworldly, until the sonata evanesced like a soap bubble: a gentle pop, and the whole shining surface was gone.

RONDON MAGAZINE, 19/09/2008, Jürgen Otten, about the recording of Beethovens piano concertos for Naïve Classique
It is already apparent in the concerto in C major that, alongside an abundance of tone colour and artistic ideas, above all variability of expression and articulation, in short: originality, is influential – as if Guy wanted to reclaim Beethoven for classical music. (…) François-Frédéric Guy tackles the allegro of the concerto in E-flat major with such energy and resolution that one has to fear posthumously for Napoleon’s soul and every wall which the imperialist established between himself and freedom. Guy demolishes, with Beethoven-like intensity, the concrete wall in one fell swoop (…). And so we are able to lean back and enjoy being in the middle of the tumult: this incandescence, this beauty. Kudos!

LE FIGARO, April 2008, Christian Merlin, about complete Beethoven sonata cycle at the Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo
An artist rather than an athlete. He’s done it! F.F. Guy has mastered his mad undertaking. When, at the beginning of the last concert, the audience in the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, baffled, gave F.F. Guy a standing ovation, it was clear that they were applauding an artist and not an athlete. Because what we will remember from these performances is a vision. Few pianists today are capable of accumulating such a richness to their playing without risk of implosion.
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Media Centre

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