Author Topic: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas  (Read 690472 times)

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Offline hvbias

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4320 on: November 09, 2019, 09:38:21 AM »
I would really welcome a Heidsieck box as well, so many of those EMI recordings are very hard to find on CD or LP only.

Offline Todd

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4321 on: November 16, 2019, 11:56:27 AM »



[Cross-posted from WAYLTN]

Valery Afanassiev playing three of ol' Ludwig van's most famous sonatas.  Afanassiev's main thing here is playing the music slower than slow.  Op 13 is dreadful.  Heavy, plodding, ugly, lacking energy, and including a lot of banging, it's almost as bad as Gould's worst.  Somehow, though, the even more ridiculously slow 27/2 (9:58/3:25/9:14!) comes off reasonably well, if one takes it as a serious attempt at musical absurdism.  Afanassiev achieves musical stasis in the opening movement and a strange sense of scale in the closer.  Op 57 comes in at over a half-hour, and much of it sounds stiff, ugly, and ponderous, but in some passages he lets rip to exciting effect.  He whizzes right by Pogorelich and straight into Barto territory in terms of self-indulgence, but he lacks the American's tonal finesse and fluidity.  Afanassiev's discs usually sell at a premium, but I picked this up for an old school Naxos price (ie, $6), so it was worth it.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 02:51:09 PM by Todd »
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4322 on: November 17, 2019, 02:40:35 AM »
He whizzes right by Pogorelich and straight into Barto territory in terms of self-indulgence, ...

As one might deduce from the album title.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4323 on: November 17, 2019, 03:12:07 AM »
As one might deduce from the album title.

Since the titular phrase has become associated with a response to terrorism, it seems doubly appropriate.

Offline Brian

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4324 on: November 17, 2019, 02:50:47 PM »
But did he write the booklet essay? He penned one of the worst liner notes I've ever read, for an album of piano duets on the Dux label.

Offline Todd

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4325 on: November 17, 2019, 03:15:59 PM »
But did he write the booklet essay? He penned one of the worst liner notes I've ever read, for an album of piano duets on the Dux label.


Yep, thirteen pages' worth.  The "To Drain The Swamp" section even includes mention of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  I did not read all of the notes.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline Todd

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4326 on: November 30, 2019, 06:48:03 AM »
In preparation for the upcoming Beethoven year, and having recently completed three more cycles, I decided to refresh my tiers so that I can make sure any new cycles that pop up in the next dozen or so months can be properly grouped into the most objective ratings system known to humanity.


Top Tier – The Holy Tetrarchy
Annie Fischer (Hungarton)
Friedrich Gulda (Amadeo)
Wilhelm Kempff (DG, mono)
Wilhelm Backhaus (mono)

[Rudolf Serkin; OK, he didn't complete a cycle, but this is where he belongs]


Top Tier – The Rest of the Top Ten (sort of in order)
Wilhelm Kempff (DG, stereo)
Eric Heidsieck
Russell Sherman
Andrea Lucchesini
Emil Gilels
Daniel-Ben Pienaar

[Sviatoslav Richter; OK, he didn't complete a cycle, but this is where he belongs]


Second Tier (in alphabetical order)
Artur Schnabel
Bernard Roberts
Claude Frank
Daniel Barenboim (EMI, 2005)
Eduardo del Pueyo
Francois Frederic Guy
Friedrich Gulda (Orfeo)
Kazune Shimizu (Sony)
Maurizio Pollini
Michael Levinas
Paul Badura-Skoda (JVC/Astree)
Peter Takacs
Robert Silverman
Rudolf Buchbinder (Unitel)
Seymour Lipkin
Takahiro Sonoda (Denon)
Takahiro Sonoda (Evica)
Wilhelm Backhaus (stereo)
Younwha Lee
Yu Kosuge
Yusuke Kikuchi

[Bruce Hungerford; OK, he didn't complete a cycle, but this is where he belongs]


Third Tier (in no alphabetical order)
Abdel Rahman El Bacha (Mirare)
Akiyoshi Sako
Alfred Brendel (Philips, 1970s)
Alfred Brendel (Vox)
Alfredo Perl
Andras Schiff
Claudio Arrau (1960s)
Claudio Arrau (1980s)
Craig Sheppard
Daniel Barenboim (DG)
Daniel Barenboim (EMI, 1960s)
David Allen Wehr
Dieter Zechlin
Friedrich Gulda (Decca)
Garrick Ohlsson
Gerard Willems
Gerhard Oppitz
Ian Hobson
Ichiro Nodaira
Igor Levit
Irina Mejoueva
John O'Conor
Jonathan Biss
Kun-Woo Paik
Louie Lortie
Malcolm Binns
Michael Houstoun (Morrison Trust)
Michael Houstoun (Rattle)
Michael Korstick
Paul Badura-Skoda (Gramola)
Pavaali Jumppanen
Peter Rösel
Robert Silverman (AudioHigh)
Rudolf Buchbinder (Teldec)
Sequeira Costa
Stephen Kovacevich
Stewart Goodyear
Wilhelm Kempff (1961, King International)
Yaeko Yamane
Yves Nat


Fourth Tier (in alphabetical order)
Abdel Rahman El Bacha (Forlane)
Aldo Ciccolini
Alfred Brendel (Philips, 1990s)
Andre De Groote
Anton Kuerti
Christian Leotta
Dino Ciani
Georges Pludermacher
Idil Biret
Ikuyo Nakamichi
Jean Bernard Pommier
Jean Muller
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
Jeno Jando
John Kane
John Lill
Llŷr Williams
Mari Kodama
Maria Grinburg
Martin Rasch
Martino Tirimo   
Melodie Zhao
Paul Lewis
Richard Goode
Robert Benz
Robert Taub
Ronald Brautigam
Rudolf Buchbinder (RCA)
Sebastian Forster
Steven Herbert Smith
Steven Masi
Timothy Ehlen
Vladimir Ashkenazy
Walter Gieseking (Tahra)
Yukio Yokoyama


Bottom Tier (in sorta particular order)
HJ Lim
Rita Bouboulidi
Tatiana Nikolayeva
Anne Oland


Eighth Circle of Hell
[Glenn Gould; OK, he didn't complete a cycle, but this is where he belongs]

The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General