Beethoven's Piano Sonatas

Started by George, July 21, 2007, 07:27:17 PM

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George

Tomorrow, on my day off form work, I plan to listen to some of Goode's Beethoven cycle (starting at the beginning) and will be posting my reviews here as I progress.  :)



Valentino

Just simply fantastic.

My library is swelling up nicely. Gilels, some latest Brendel to fill the holes in, some Askhenazy and Pollini, and just recently 14 LPs with Kempff's '64 cycle. The box actually contains the complete piano music, including bagatelles and the Grosse Fuge for 4 hands. Anda and Demus play the non 32-pieces. I'm fine for a while.
We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes;
Audio-Technica | Bokrand | Thorens | Cambridge Audio | Logitech | Yamaha | Topping | MiniDSP | Hypex | ICEpower | Mundorf | SEAS | Beyma

George


Richard Goode plays Beethoven

Op. 2, No. 1 - Goode chooses middle of the road tempos with a piano that is slightly too distantly miked for my taste. He plays well within the limits of classical style, more than any other performer I have heard in these works, an aspect that takes some getting used to. However, once I was able to accept that he wasn't going to barnstorm this work like Schnabel or Annie Fischer (my two favorites in this sonata), I was able to sit back and enjoy his solid, elegant playing. What it lacked in excitement, it sure had in beauty, especially in the second movement. Here his style is perfect for the music, with a supple, gentle touch that was only helped by the sonics. In fact, I can't remember if I have ever heard this movement played better. The minuet was absolutely characteristic, so much so that I could picture aristocrats dancing to it. In the finale, he clearly tries to generate more drama, but it fails to convince in the end.     

Op.2, No. 2 - Again, Goode plays well within the classical idiom, only here he is helped by even better sound. As in number 1, his slow movement takes the playing up a couple notches, without reaching the heights of its predecessor. I loved his playfulness in the third movement, with an impressive liquid tone. The finale provides a fitting ending to this interpretation, with a slowish tempo that fits his beautiful tone and style. When the more dramatic moments arrive, he plays convincingly, with a solid technique.     

Op.2, No. 3 - This is the opening movement that I had been waiting for. He plays with power, excitement and beauty. His reliable, solid technique served him well here. He keeps nice breathing room between phrases and outlines the sonata form impressively. It all makes perfect sense, yet is not dull or academic. In the second movement he is just as incredible, conjuring up a spellbinding mood with gorgeous playing married with great brio. In the third movement he has an infectious spark to his playing with great wit and playfulness. The finale is at the same high level, ending this Opus at a much higher level than it began. Only Gulda presents an interpretation that is equal to Goode's masterful interpretation.


Valentino

#45
Quote from: Valentino on August 13, 2007, 04:11:32 AM
My library is swelling up nicely. Gilels, some latest Brendel to fill the holes in, some Askhenazy and Pollini, and just recently 14 LPs with Kempff's '64 cycle. The box actually contains the complete piano music, including bagatelles and the Grosse Fuge for 4 hands. Anda and Demus play the non 32-pieces. I'm fine for a while.
Right!
Stumbled across a Supraphon LP with Moravec playing op. 90 (PC 4 on the flip side) today. Shall compare.
We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes;
Audio-Technica | Bokrand | Thorens | Cambridge Audio | Logitech | Yamaha | Topping | MiniDSP | Hypex | ICEpower | Mundorf | SEAS | Beyma


Holden

Quote from: Valentino on August 14, 2007, 07:50:44 AM
Right!
Stumbled across a Supraphon LP with Moravec playing op. 90 (PC 4 on the flip side) today. Shall compare.

Moravec's performance of Op 90 is my favourite
Cheers

Holden

George

#48
Quote from: sidoze on August 14, 2007, 08:52:24 AM
compared to the Leipzig recital, that is rather tame.

If only the price wasn't $999.99 on amazon.  :-[

mahlertitan

I just want to say that regardless of whoever is playing it, LVB's piano sonatas are brilliant.

Valentino

Let me paraphrase Leif Ove Andsnes: Nothing is as dead as sheet music.

I passed on the opportunity to buy a 70s Philips LP with Brendel playing Pathetique, Moonlight and Appasionata (I think it was Appasionata) yesterday. Bad decision?
We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes;
Audio-Technica | Bokrand | Thorens | Cambridge Audio | Logitech | Yamaha | Topping | MiniDSP | Hypex | ICEpower | Mundorf | SEAS | Beyma

George

Quote from: Valentino on August 14, 2007, 11:12:09 PM
I passed on the opportunity to buy a 70s Philips LP with Brendel playing Pathetique, Moonlight and Appasionata (I think it was Appasionata) yesterday. Bad decision?

I haven't heard anything from that  cycle, but I have sampled his other two. From what I have heard, I'd say that you didn't make a bad decision.

Todd

Quote from: Valentino on August 14, 2007, 11:12:09 PMI passed on the opportunity to buy a 70s Philips LP with Brendel playing Pathetique, Moonlight and Appasionata (I think it was Appasionata) yesterday. Bad decision?


Depends on the style you like.  These particular named sonatas aren't Brendel's strong suit in his 70s cycle.  He's better in the later sonatas in that cycle.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

People would rather believe than know - E.O. Wilson

Propaganda death ensemble - Tom Araya

Renfield

Quote from: Todd on August 15, 2007, 04:48:24 AM

Depends on the style you like.  These particular named sonatas aren't Brendel's strong suit in his 70s cycle.  He's better in the later sonatas in that cycle.

Isn't Brendel's later cycle generally his best, anyway? Not that I've sampled his earlier cycles, but I was under the impression that this was the consensus... I might be wrong. :)

Todd

Quote from: Renfield on August 15, 2007, 05:20:25 AMIsn't Brendel's later cycle generally his best, anyway?



No.  Most people seem to prefer his Vox cycle.  I prefer his second cycle overall, though the Vox and even the digital cycle have stronger performances in some works.   
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

People would rather believe than know - E.O. Wilson

Propaganda death ensemble - Tom Araya

Valentino

Ah well. At EUR 5 maybe it was a bad decision. Was it the BOFs at Penguin (I do agree with them sometimes) who preferred Brendel's 70s Moonlight to the other two? Got his Vox anyway, and I like his style of playing. The LPis probably still there.

(Should get that Richter recital with op. 111. Wham Bam is also good in LvB.)
We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes;
Audio-Technica | Bokrand | Thorens | Cambridge Audio | Logitech | Yamaha | Topping | MiniDSP | Hypex | ICEpower | Mundorf | SEAS | Beyma

Renfield

#56
Quote from: Todd on August 15, 2007, 05:26:03 AM


No.  Most people seem to prefer his Vox cycle.  I prefer his second cycle overall, though the Vox and even the digital cycle have stronger performances in some works.   

Interesting... I only have his digital cycle, myself, so I can't offer a personal opinion of how it compares to the others. Regardless, I wouldn't exactly call it bad. :)

Has the Vox cycle been issued on CD, though? Scratch that: I'm blind. :P

Thanks for the recommendation. ;)

George

Quote from: Valentino on August 15, 2007, 05:36:45 AM
(Should get that Richter recital with op. 111. Wham Bam is also good in LvB.)

Which one? The one sidoze posted? Is so, please PM me?

Holden

Quote from: George on August 15, 2007, 01:28:44 PM
Which one? The one sidoze posted? Is so, please PM me?

The Richter in Leipzig recital is the one I think he is referring to.
Cheers

Holden

rw1883

Has anyone bought or heard this set? 

http://www.amazon.com/Dino-Ciani-Rediscovered-Beethovens-Complete/dp/B00018D472/ref=cm_lmf_tit_11/102-9817053-6018502

For $45 it seems like a good bargain.  All I remember is that Ciani died tragically at a young age (32-33?).  There doesn't seem to be many reviews of his work, so any input would really be great.  Thank you...

Paul