Author Topic: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas  (Read 433484 times)

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Offline ørfeo

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3680 on: September 24, 2017, 09:42:05 PM »
I believe that's the one complete set I already own (repackaged).

If so it's pretty good IMHO, only very occasionally does the high-energy approach become too much. Some of the performances I find quite riveting.
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Offline Marc

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3681 on: September 24, 2017, 10:07:21 PM »
I can't explain this very well, but he's got a way of bringing out the way the music can function at the level of the sounds, the almost physical impact of the repetition of sounds, rather than by melody or voicing. Like in the Rite of Spring.  It's an approach which is interesting to think about in the sonatas which Beethoven wrote when he was deaf - you can imagine him feeling the vibrations.

[...]
The interpretation is on the aggressive side, reinforced by a very close miking. You are not left in doubt, that the piano is a percussion instrument.

[...]
it's pretty good IMHO, only very occasionally does the high-energy approach become too much. Some of the performances I find quite riveting.

I'm not afraid.
There's plenty of other music in the house to help me recover from Kovacevich's energy. ;)
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Offline Marc

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3682 on: September 25, 2017, 08:44:24 AM »
So far, so good.
I 'did' 3 Beethoven/Kovacevich recordings this late afternoon/early evening.

I first listened to op. 2/1 (the 'little' Appassionata), one of my favourites, recorded in 2003.
First movement is much too prestissimo for just an allegro, and Kovacevich is missing the lyricism of the 2nd movement, but from then on I liked the way he played this sonata. But one of my first thoughts was: why not play a fortepiano, Stephen? Maybe that would have sounded just great. Speaking of sound: I was happily surprised, it wasn't as harsh as I expected.
Then I listened to op. 27/2 ('Mondschein'), recorded in 1999: well, the 1st movement got me really quiet and I found myself truly moved. The 2nd movement was very nicely played, but the 3rd was a bit too much of heaviness sometimes, which led to a certain amount of fuzziness. I got pretty enthousiastic whilst listening to it, though. So I won't deny it: I liked this sonata very much! Again: the sound was good on my modest Denon set with a couple of 2-way Quadrals: rather warm and deep.
Finally op. 31/1, one of my least favourites. I probably don't get Beet's humour in the 1st movement, and the 2nd is mostly kind of a bore to me (sorry, true Beethovenians). But with Kovacevich's energetic way of playing I could easily enjoy it, even though I doubt if he himself 'got' the fun of it. The 3rd movement is the best movement of this piece IMO, it's a beauty and, despite some heavy accents, Kovacevich got me in the right mood.
This was the earliest recording of the three (1994), and also the least impressive. Metallic and too brutal sometimes.

Well, just 3 sonatas, but I'm already happy with this budget-priced purchase.
But my guess is that Kovacevich should be consumed in a moderate way. For instance: the 'little Appassionata' gets hammered away too much, and there are 'sforzati' in his approach that can sound quite brutal, too. But, who knows, maybe Beethoven would have liked it.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 08:49:21 AM by Marc »
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Offline Scarpia

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3683 on: September 25, 2017, 08:49:10 AM »
I had a number of these discs when they were being released individually. I like Kovacevitch but many of these recordings were made during a time when EMI engineering was too harsh for my taste.

Offline Marc

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3684 on: September 25, 2017, 08:53:23 AM »
I had a number of these discs when they were being released individually. I like Kovacevitch but many of these recordings were made during a time when EMI engineering was too harsh for my taste.

Not sure if they are remastered and therefore sounding better than in their first release(s), but it was less harsh than I expected. In the later recordings, the sound was, despite being still direct, quite warm and deep.
Now listening, to close my Beet/Kovacevich listening for today, to opp. 49: they're good, they really are. No hammering here. Swift and very pleasant IMO.
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Offline Scarpia

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3685 on: September 25, 2017, 08:57:58 AM »
Not sure if they are remastered and therefore sounding better than in their first release(s), but it was less harsh than I expected. In the later recordings, the sound was, despite being still direct, quite warm and deep.
Now listening, to close my Beet/Kovacevich listening for today, to opp. 49: they're good, they really are. No hammering here. Swift and very pleasant IMO.

They did a better job (for my taste) towards the end, and I recall that some sonatas were recorded a second time, with the first recording omitted from the collection. I do recall liking this one:


Offline George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3686 on: September 25, 2017, 09:00:17 AM »
Then Kovacevitch Beethoven to have, IMO, is the Philips recordings.
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Offline Marc

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3687 on: September 25, 2017, 09:25:33 AM »
Then Kovacevitch Beethoven to have, IMO, is the Philips recordings.

I'll remember that... who knows, later. :)
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Offline ørfeo

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3688 on: September 26, 2017, 01:35:16 AM »
One thing I particularly love from that set is the op.28 'Pastoral'.
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3689 on: September 26, 2017, 07:42:04 AM »
Not sure if they are remastered and therefore sounding better than in their first release(s), but it was less harsh than I expected. In the later recordings, the sound was, despite being still direct, quite warm and deep.

If the booklet doesn't tell anything about this, we probably have to realize, that the set wasn't remastered.
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Offline Marc

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3690 on: September 26, 2017, 10:20:44 AM »
If the booklet doesn't tell anything about this, we probably have to realize, that the set wasn't remastered.

Yes.
Which means: no.
I guess.

:D

One thing I particularly love from that set is the op.28 'Pastoral'.

Going to do opus 28 before a pastoral night rest.
Sweet dreams ahead.

:)
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Offline George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3691 on: September 26, 2017, 10:30:58 AM »
One thing I particularly love from that set is the op.28 'Pastoral'.

Same here.
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Offline Scarpia

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3692 on: September 26, 2017, 10:43:13 AM »
If the booklet doesn't tell anything about this, we probably have to realize, that the set wasn't remastered.

I assume it is a re-boxing of the complete set released in 2004.



Whatever re-mastering might have been done for that set presumably applies to the new bargain release.


Offline Brian

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3693 on: September 26, 2017, 11:43:34 AM »
Pianist Andreas Haefliger has begun a new collaboration with BIS Records. Each solo album will include a Beethoven sonata "as the point of departure" for other works.

It's a continuation of his "Perspectives" series, which began on Avie Records:
Vol 1 - Schubert D. 537 / Adès Darknesse Visible / Mozart No. 17 K. 570 / Op. 111
Vol 2 - Op. 54 / Bartók Out of Doors / Op. 90 / Brahms No. 3
Vol 3 - Op. 28 / Op. 57 / D. 960
Vol 4 - 1.X.1905 / Op. 53 / Op. 78 / Brahms No. 2
Vol 5 - Op. 106 / Années Year 1
Vol 6 - Op. 14 No. 2 / two Berio encores / Op. 109 / two more Berio encores / Schumann Op. 17

The first BIS album will be marked Volume 7 and will couple a Beethoven sonata with Berg's, plus works by Mussorgsky and Liszt.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 11:48:55 AM by Brian »

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3694 on: September 26, 2017, 01:01:15 PM »
I assume it is a re-boxing of the complete set released in 2004.

Whatever re-mastering might have been done for that set presumably applies to the new bargain release.

This is precisely what I want to know, since I own the original release and wonder, if a purchase of the new bargain release is justified for the matter of sonic upgrading.
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Offline Scarpia

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3695 on: September 26, 2017, 01:30:43 PM »
This is precisely what I want to know, since I own the original release and wonder, if a purchase of the new bargain release is justified for the matter of sonic upgrading.

The would never remaster anything for a straight bargain box re-release. I am 99% sure it would be the same.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3696 on: September 26, 2017, 01:33:18 PM »
The would never remaster anything for a straight bargain box re-release. I am 99% sure it would be the same.

This is also what I think, but Marc's description of the sound of the bargain release makes me wonder.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3697 on: September 26, 2017, 01:39:58 PM »
I think ClassicsToday just said the Gieseking Debussy box in that series was newly remastered?

Offline Todd

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3698 on: September 26, 2017, 01:52:08 PM »
This is also what I think, but Marc's description of the sound of the bargain release makes me wonder.


The Warner site does not mention any remastering.


I think ClassicsToday just said the Gieseking Debussy box in that series was newly remastered?


That appears to be a reissue of the EMI Signature Collection from 2012, later Warner branded.  I doubt it was remastered again so soon.

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Offline Scarpia

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3699 on: September 26, 2017, 01:55:40 PM »
I think ClassicsToday just said the Gieseking Debussy box in that series was newly remastered?

EMI did a new remastering of the Geiseking Debussy for a high resolution SACD release in 2012.



That's what they used.  I have it, it sound much better than the purple box which preceded it.



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