Author Topic: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas  (Read 394362 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3620 on: May 24, 2017, 09:41:35 PM »

I've heard only the EMI, and I agree with Mandryka that the Op 2 sonatas are superb, and Op 31 is very good.  The late sonatas are a bit slow, and the 106 opener has the disadvantage of being slow and repeatless (don't let the timing mislead you into thinking the pianist hits Beethoven's metronome markings).  Definitely more classical than romantic in approach.  Based on what I've heard, third tier for me.

There's something touchingly naive about the way he plays the first movement of 110, I listened again to op 106/1 but didn't enjoy it - nothing follows. 
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Offline Pat B

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3621 on: May 25, 2017, 09:41:10 PM »
I want to make a list of op 106 recordings on authentic pianos. There's

Stephan Moeller
Peter Serkin
Paul Badura Skoda
Andrea Lucchessini (unpublished concert performance)
Andrew Willis
Malcolm Binns
Ronald Brautigam

Anyone else?

John Khouri. I spotified the opening then turned it off.

The Möller was on my list for a while, so I just ordered it from cdbaby. I wasn’t completely sold by the samples but his modern-piano recording (again via spotify) is excellent.

Offline Oldnslow

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3622 on: May 31, 2017, 06:31:57 PM »
Re:Richter-Haaser. Just listened to his Brahms 2nd with Karajan  and was mightily impressed with both the pianist and conductor. Look forward to listening to both the Eloquence and  French EMI Beethoven performances 

Offline Amore di Viola

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3623 on: June 19, 2017, 11:23:20 AM »
Ulysses spent ten years on his Odyssey. I spent ten months deep-diving into the 32. Ten months of almost daily listening, to the exclusion of everything else, reading the scores, dipping into Tovey's analyses, listening to Schiffs youtube commentaries - and, above all of course, listening to the recordings. I took an almost fully Hungarian approach, limiting myself to Schiff and Fischer's cycles (with Solomon joining for the late ones). I can kinda get my head around the early and middle sonatas, but the late ones are so dense, so textured and so varied that I think I will never tire of them.
Having Fischer's more romantic/dionysian approach juxtaposed to Schiff's more cerebral/Apollonian style was a huge advantage. Still I guess there is so much more to be found in other interpretations, so I would like to invite some comments, if possible:
1:Would you point to any interpretations of any specific sonatas that add something unique?
2: Or to any fortepiano recordings of the late sonatas where the interpretation is truly outstanding?
3: Anybody want to recommend recordings of the Diabelli variations? And the bagatelles?
4: And if I should ever find my way out of this vast landscape, where should I go? The string quartets? Brahms? More rhetorically, what can possibly follow op. 111??

Offline Brian

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3624 on: June 19, 2017, 11:25:26 AM »
2: Or to any fortepiano recordings of the late sonatas where the interpretation is truly outstanding?
3: Anybody want to recommend recordings of the Diabelli variations? And the bagatelles?
Penelope Crawford!! Her fortepiano recordings of Opp. 109-111 are favorites of many GMGers, including me. Truly outstanding, with an intelligence that never bends toward eccentricity. I had the pleasure of interviewing her two years ago. There is an outstanding Diabelli on fortepiano as well, Andreas Staier's (which very much adds something unique you won't hear on any other recording - I think I'll let you discover his trick for yourself), and Jed Distler at classicstoday.com just called Ronald Brautigam's new Diabelli, also on period instrument, his "crowning achievement."
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 11:27:09 AM by Brian »

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3625 on: June 19, 2017, 11:27:14 AM »
For Diabelli on fortepiano, try Schiff.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3626 on: June 19, 2017, 11:39:23 AM »
I would not recommend Staier's Diabellis as a first or only recording. It is not without interest but for me overall disappointing (and gimmicky with the stupid sound effects).
A "safe" choice for both Diabellis and Bagatelles would be Kovacevich's recordings from the 1970s. Or, if you tolerate historical sound, Schnabel. Schnabel also did most (all?) of the "lesser variations. Otherwise Richter for op.34 and 35, Gilels for op.35 and WoO 80, Gould for all three. (These three are by far the most relevant of the other variations although some of the rest are quite enjoyable.)

Nothing really follows after late Beethoven (except more late Beethoven). Late Schubert is more an independent branch starting from some aspects of early/middle Beethoven.
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Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3627 on: June 19, 2017, 11:47:39 AM »
On modern piano, try Brendel for the Bagatelles and Variations.

And shame on me for not remembering about Serkin for the last three sonatas and the Diabellis.

Offline Todd

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3628 on: June 19, 2017, 12:03:24 PM »
1:Would you point to any interpretations of any specific sonatas that add something unique?


I've posted on dozens of complete cycles, including unique traits of individual sonatas.  You can search "plays Beethoven" to find them.  You may or may not find the posts useful.


2: Or to any fortepiano recordings of the late sonatas where the interpretation is truly outstanding?


I second the Crawford recommendation and add Paul Badura-Skoda on Astree.


3: Anybody want to recommend recordings of the Diabelli variations? And the bagatelles?


Diabellis
HIP - Schiff
Standard - Serkin ('57 Marlboro), Brendel (digital), Goodyear for more or less straight-forward versions; Pludermacher, Mustonen, Anderszewski for more personalized versions.

Bagatelles
Brendel (digital), Sanchez (sub-prime sound), Osborne


what can possibly follow op. 111??


Lots. 
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 12:07:43 PM by Todd »
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Offline Holden

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3629 on: June 19, 2017, 02:04:25 PM »
Bagatelles, I agree with the Kovacevich recommendation.

The Diabellis have more of a choice.

Schnabel did the first great set and to many is still the gold standard.

Kovacevich (in his first recording) takes a similar approach to Schnabel and does just as good a job but in far better sound.

Claudio Arrau's recording stands out for giving an organic view of the work.

Agree that the Serkin 1957 recording is excellent. I also have an earlier recording (on Music&Arts) that is just as good though in lesser sound.

I tend to gravitate to the Arrau.

I wish Solomon had recorded this piece.

Cheers

Holden

Offline Bogey

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3630 on: June 19, 2017, 02:10:28 PM »
Bagatelles, I agree with the Kovacevich recommendation.

The Diabellis have more of a choice.

Schnabel did the first great set and to many is still the gold standard.

Kovacevich (in his first recording) takes a similar approach to Schnabel and does just as good a job but in far better sound.

Claudio Arrau's recording stands out for giving an organic view of the work.

Agree that the Serkin 1957 recording is excellent. I also have an earlier recording (on Music&Arts) that is just as good though in lesser sound.

I tend to gravitate to the Arrau.

I wish Solomon had recorded this piece.

Funny you mentioned Schnabel, Holden.  I just listed the first two volumes of my set from Pearl by him on EBay.  Letting them go as I just do not listen to them anymore.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3631 on: June 19, 2017, 09:57:46 PM »
1:Would you point to any interpretations of any specific sonatas that add something unique


Richter BBC Beethoven op 14
Maria Yudina Op 106, op 111
Paul Jacobs op 10/3 - playful and powerful
Earl Wild op 106 - Symphonic
Cziffra -- appassionata
Ernst Levy - op 110
Valery Afanassiev - op 109-110 (Tokyo)
Gilels (late sonatas, meditative)
Sofronitsky -- Pastoral, op 111
Schiff -- Moonlight
Arrau -- , op 109-111, op 2/2, op 10/3

Other names to look out for are Michelangeli and Sokolov

Check the CDs by Pletnev and Lupu with the Waldstein for a more introspective approach.



2: Or to any fortepiano recordings of the late sonatas where the interpretation is truly outstanding?


Beghin op 111
Stephan Möller op 106
Demus at Beethovenhaus

Badura Skoda on Astrée is well worth thinking about exploring, and satisfying in the late sonatas.


3: Anybody want to recommend recordings of the Diabelli variations?

Michael Oelbaum
Rosen
Kuerti
Sokolov
Pollini (live preferably)
Horszowski
Daria Rabotkina
Bernard Roberts
S Richter (Prague)
Nikolayeve 1979
Brendel 2001
Leonard Shure (Epic)
Kovacevich (Onyx)
Hans Petermandl

By coincidence I was listening to a live recording of Pollini in Bonn just today and I can confirm my recommendation, he really had a strong grasp of this music. I'm not sure the sound on DG does him justice though -- I'd have to check.


And the bagatelles?
,

Schnabel op 119 especially ; Demus Beethovenhaus op 126
Gould, especially if you can find the recording he made for television, it used to be on youtube. 

Check also the recordings by Pletnev and Ugorski. Richter also good in these.



4: More rhetorically, what can possibly follow op. 111??
Op 131
The Missa Solemnis
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 06:29:03 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3632 on: June 19, 2017, 10:59:22 PM »
Bagatelles, I agree with the Kovacevich recommendation.



Kovacevich (in his first recording) takes a similar approach to Schnabel and does just as good a job but in far better sound.


Right, now which one is this? I just listened to Schnabel and my recording of Kov in op 119 and they're not really similar I think, not similar enough anyway. I've ripped the Kov CD so I don't know which one I have - he takes 1:27 for op 119/4 -- is that the one?
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Offline Holden

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3633 on: June 20, 2017, 01:02:31 PM »
Right, now which one is this? I just listened to Schnabel and my recording of Kov in op 119 and they're not really similar I think, not similar enough anyway. I've ripped the Kov CD so I don't know which one I have - he takes 1:27 for op 119/4 -- is that the one?

I was actually referring to the Diabellis. I probably let my thoughts jump, a bad habit of mine.
Cheers

Holden

Offline Scarpia

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3634 on: June 20, 2017, 01:16:16 PM »
2: Or to any fortepiano recordings of the late sonatas where the interpretation is truly outstanding?

I enjoyed Brautigam a great deal. Badura Skoda on Astrée sounds attractive, but not at $100 for a single out-of-print disc...

Quote
4: And if I should ever find my way out of this vast landscape, where should I go? The string quartets? Brahms? More rhetorically, what can possibly follow op. 111??

The Beethoven String Quartets are at least as deep a pool as the Piano Sonatas.

Brahms piano music is very fine, but is not as central to his music as the Piano Sonatas are to Beethoven. Brahms Chamber music taken as a whole, including the Piano Trios, Quartets, Quintet, the string Quartets, Quintets, Sextets, works with clarinet, would make a great followup to Beethoven's quartets.
 
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 01:19:35 PM by Scarpia »

Offline Pat B

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3635 on: June 20, 2017, 03:07:41 PM »
1:Would you point to any interpretations of any specific sonatas that add something unique?

I second Pletnev’s Waldstein. I also like Gelber on Denon in that piece. Both unusual interpretations.

For the Hammerklavier: the first recordings by Rosen (1964 on Epic) and Stephan Möller (1996 on a modern piano). Neither is easy to find on CD, but they are on spotify. Rosen recorded it again in 1970 for Columbia and yet again in the ’90s. I prefer his 1964 to his 1970; haven’t heard the ‘90s one.

Going past unique and to controversial: Gould’s Appassionata and Hammerklavier.

Quote
2: Or to any fortepiano recordings of the late sonatas where the interpretation is truly outstanding?

I’ll put in a word for Paul Komen. He is excellent in a relatively straight-forward way. Among the late sonatas, he did the last 3 but not op. 101 or 106.

Möller’s fortepiano Hammerklavier is very good, but I’m not quite as enthusiastic about it as Mandryka is, or as I am about Möller’s earlier modern-piano recording.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3636 on: June 20, 2017, 08:42:16 PM »
I was actually referring to the Diabellis. I probably let my thoughts jump, a bad habit of mine.

Ah yes, I like Kovacevich in the DV a lot, for me the later ones are slightly better - the CD and best of all the video.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3637 on: June 20, 2017, 08:45:14 PM »



I’ll put in a word for Paul Komen.


Coincidentally I listened to his op 109 last month, the first time in years. It's a very good mainstream performance.
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Offline amw

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3638 on: June 20, 2017, 10:14:12 PM »
Hammerklavier: Peter Serkin on a Graf fortepiano (or modern piano), Schnabel if you can handle the mistakes, Yudina 1954 for a more unorthodox but successful take. Stephan Möller is also fairly worthwhile. Among slow recordings, Daniel-Ben Pienaar is good and articulates the feel of the work fairly well. Also Pollini, if he wasn't obvious.

Op. 111 my favourites so far include Lubimov and Pashchenko. For the Diabellis I quite like Staier if one can handle the "humorous" fortepiano effects, and Michael Leslie. I'm actually on the lookout for more of those though. (Rudolf Serkin above is still my reference recording.)

Online Turner

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #3639 on: June 20, 2017, 11:17:55 PM »
1:Would you point to any interpretations of any specific sonatas that add something unique?

There are sooo many, but besides the originality found in Gould and Korstick generally, for instance,
I´d at least mention

14 /Kuerti
17 /Kuerti
23 /Richter 1960 Carnegie Hall; Gilels 1961 Brilliant Classics
29 /Yudina
30-32 /Gould
30 /Mustonen

If you accept historical sound, there are many original examples besides Schnabel, such as the recordings by Yudina, Feinberg, Friedman, Lamond, Bauer etc. etc.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 11:26:27 PM by Turner »

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