Andor Földes plays Beethoven Sonata No.24, "À Thérèse"


Piano Sonata No. 24 in F-sharp major, op.78, nicknamed "À Thérèse"; composed in 1809. Movements are: - Adagio cantabile, Allegro ma non troppo - Allegro vivace ~~~ Dedicatee of the sonata (composed some five years after Appassionata), Countess Theresa Brunszvik of Korompa was a member of the Hungarian nobility. She was the founder of nursery schools in Hungary, under the Austro-hungarian monarchy on July 1, 1828. Soon the pre-school institution became famous all over Hungary and in 1837, Friedrich Fröbel founded the first "kindergarten" in Germany. She launched the Women's Association in Buda and Pest and initiated an institution for educating women and consistently supported their equality. She was once thought of as a leading contender for being the composer's mysterious "Immortal Beloved". Yet by the time these enigmatic references to a lover had begun to appear in his correspondence and conversation books, Theresa had been out of his life for a couple of years and, indeed, it is she who seems to have been the more disappointed party when their relationship came to nothing in 1809. He, meanwhile, was more besotted with her widowed sister Josephine. Once Beethoven failed to respond to Theresa's love for him, she found solace in caring for disadvantaged children and survived to the age of 86. The composer nevertheless treasured the portrait she gave him on her departure, inscribed with the words : "To the unique genius, to the great artist, to the good man" ~~~ "Biography / Obituary" from NY Times on February 19, 1992: Andor Foldes, a Hungarian-born American pianist who was closely associated with the music of Bela Bartok and who was also a respected interpreter of the Viennese Classical composers, died at his home in Herrliberg, Switzerland, on Feb. 9. He was 78 years old. He died after falling down a flight of stairs, said his wife, Lili Rendy Foldes. Mrs. Foldes said her husband had been preparing for a performance and an eight-day master class at the Beethoven house in Bonn. Mr. Foldes was born in Budapest on Dec. 21, 1913, and began his studies privately with his mother, Valerie Ipolye, and with Tibor Szatmari. He made his public debut performing a Mozart concerto with the Budapest Philharmonic when he was 8 years old. The next year he entered the Budapest Academy of Music to study the piano, composition and conducting, but he continued to perform publicly. During his student years, Mr. Foldes worked with several important Hungarian composers, among them Ernst von Dohnanyi, with whom he studied until 1932, and Bartok, whom he met in 1929. Bartok's music became a central part of his repertory. He gave the New York premiere of Bartok's Second Piano Concerto at Carnegie Hall in 1947. His 1948 recording of the work, prized by collectors, was recently reissued on compact disk, as was a set of Bartok works he recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, which won the Grand Prix du Disques and other prizes. Mr. Foldes made his American orchestral debut in a radio concert in 1940 and his recital debut at Town Hall in 1941. He met his wife, a Hungarian journalist, in New York, and they became American citizens. In the 1950's, when Mr. Foldes's European concert engagements were more plentiful than his American ones, he and his wife moved to Europe, settling in Switzerland in 1961. Besides a large discography, which includes not only the Bartok recordings but also works by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Falla, Debussy, Poulenc, Liszt, Schubert and Rachmaninoff, Mr. Foldes was the author of "Keys to the Keyboard" (1948). Among his awards are the Grand Cross of Merit, given by Germany in 1959 for his help in raising money to have the Beethoven Halle in Bonn rebuilt, and the Silver Medal of the City of Paris, given in 1969. Besides his wife, there are no immediate survivors. ~~~

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