Author Topic: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas  (Read 775642 times)

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Offline San Antone

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4340 on: January 23, 2020, 11:16:57 AM »
Apparently K.M. Moo's first volume goes on sale today. 


Terrible sound.  Sounds like it was recorded in a closet on a practice piano.

Offline ritter

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4341 on: January 29, 2020, 07:50:12 AM »
Cross-posted from the New Releases thread:

I think this hasn't been posted here yet:


Yes, it's new recordings (40 years later!).
Feb. 28th release date, as per Presto Classical.
ritter
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Offline Brian

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4342 on: January 29, 2020, 12:16:08 PM »
So far streaming Fazil Say's Beethoven sonata cycle has been a thorough, consistent delight - some of his most polished and mature, but at the same time tastefully eccentric, playing from his career. Kind of belongs on a shelf of Elite Eccentrics with the likes of Heidsieck and Gilels. Just popping in now to say that the "Pastoral" has way, way more humming and grunting than the other recordings I've heard so far.

EDIT: Miswrote that first sentence. Not the most polished playing by anyone. Just by Say.

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4343 on: February 02, 2020, 09:26:48 AM »
So far streaming Fazil Say's Beethoven sonata cycle has been a thorough, consistent delight - some of his most polished and mature, but at the same time tastefully eccentric, playing from his career. Kind of belongs on a shelf of Elite Eccentrics with the likes of Heidsieck and Gilels. Just popping in now to say that the "Pastoral" has way, way more humming and grunting than the other recordings I've heard so far.

EDIT: Miswrote that first sentence. Not the most polished playing by anyone. Just by Say.
It's less than $20 for flac quality download on presto, so seriously considering it. But three things make me pause: 1) I think Gilels is the worst series  I have or have heard and you put them in the same breath, 2) He grunts a lot in 109 (#30), so much so that I kept looking around at first thinking someone was in the room with me, and 3) while his playing is good, I don't like many of his choices. I don't need it, but it might be fun to have another to compare against, especially one so recent.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4344 on: February 02, 2020, 12:54:01 PM »
It's less than $20 for flac quality download on presto, so seriously considering it. But three things make me pause: 1) I think Gilels is the worst series  I have or have heard and you put them in the same breath, 2) He grunts a lot in 109 (#30), so much so that I kept looking around at first thinking someone was in the room with me, and 3) while his playing is good, I don't like many of his choices. I don't need it, but it might be fun to have another to compare against, especially one so recent.
Gilels comparison is only in terms of how different they are from normal - not specifically in approach (Say is not super slow). If the grunting bothers you, there are a lot of performances in the set which will have you looking over your shoulder frequently!

If your goal is to buy just one or two new sets this year, I'm sure there will be another dozen by the year's end and Todd will come by to rank them all. :)

Offline George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4345 on: February 02, 2020, 01:00:05 PM »
I really enjoyed Say's single CD of some of the name sonatas, but a recent cursory sampling on Spotify of the new set didn't make me want to rush to hear more.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4346 on: February 02, 2020, 01:31:18 PM »
It's less than $20 for flac quality download on presto, so seriously considering it. But three things make me pause: 1) I think Gilels is the worst series  I have or have heard and you put them in the same breath, 2) He grunts a lot in 109 (#30), so much so that I kept looking around at first thinking someone was in the room with me, and 3) while his playing is good, I don't like many of his choices. I don't need it, but it might be fun to have another to compare against, especially one so recent.

I listened to 109. It was fun, you know, he can play piano and it’s not bad music.

As with op 111 I found myself appreciating a certain playful sparkle sometimes, a twinkle in his eye. And there was one moment, 15 seconds,  in the variations which was really rapt, concentrated - lovely.

But, and this is a deal breaker, there’s loads of big dynamic contrasts, great crashing accented loud chords right next to quiet music, to me it just sounded vulgar and ugly and blustery and idiotic in his hands.

The piano doesn’t seem to me to have much going for it by way of timbre.

Nevertheless I was not not glad to have heard it once.


« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 01:33:12 PM by Mandryka »
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Online hvbias

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4347 on: February 04, 2020, 06:26:58 PM »
But, and this is a deal breaker, there’s loads of big dynamic contrasts, great crashing accented loud chords right next to quiet music, to me it just sounded vulgar and ugly and blustery and idiotic in his hands.


I listened to his Naive recording of Op. 111 a while back and this is how I'd describe it as well. For out there style, most of what I've heard from him isn't at the level of Heidsieck or Sherman... hard to put into words but his playing is almost lacking a certain imagination they bring.

Offline Todd

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4348 on: February 08, 2020, 07:08:51 AM »



I've worked my way through Say's cycle, and it's close to what I expected, but not quite what I'd hoped for in some respects.  Much of the playing is more refined than expected, and Say's earlier wild man ways are less evident.  I've not done A/Bs with the five LvB sonatas he recorded before, but I will at some point.  To be sure, Say's playing is quite willful much of the time, and most of the time it works well.  His cycle makes for a good overall contrast with Igor Levit.  Levit is willful at times, and while his piano playing is more refined and secure, his willfulness seems more contrived and studied.  Say's more than occasionally seems more spontaneous and makes more sense in the context of his playing.  Like any other cycles, there are relative highpoints.  For me, 2/3, 13, 28 (with great contrast between the first two movements), 31/3, 53, and 101 stand out.  101, in particular, works very well, with some slow tempo and less clangorous than expected playing in the march.  Not a top tier cycle, but second tier.  I need to do another run-through before Lifschitz arrives.
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Offline amw

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4349 on: February 08, 2020, 02:20:11 PM »


The first time I checked this out, I got thru 30 seconds of 106 before getting bored. For whatever reason I'm now enjoying it more. It has good character but fails to take off completely due to the slightly too relaxed tempo, I think.

edit: Switched to Op. 111 after the first movement of 106. 111 is much better. I'm not sure whether the 106 turned out the way he intended all along, or he doesn't have the technique to play it as fast as it's supposed to be played, but in either case it feels like a miscalculation.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2020, 02:38:11 PM by amw »

Online hvbias

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4350 on: February 10, 2020, 05:10:15 PM »
Decided to have a cataclysmic Monday evening so I played Lucchesini in the Adagio of the Hammerklavier at a blistering volume. **** me. After it ended, opened my eyes, went to lift my laptop lid and Windows was nagging me about an update, back to reality.

Offline George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4351 on: February 20, 2020, 06:25:43 PM »
Today I saw this set of Beethoven sonatas (all recorded live) in a local store:



Having never heard of this pianist (or this set) before I did some Googling and found this interesting interview with the pianist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_SaT2Zm6oc

I listened to much of the video walking around the record store and, after listening to some samples on Presto (just listen to unique take on the opening to the Les Adieux sonata), decided to pick up the set. In the interview, he talks about researching different editions, likening the process to that of a private investigator who is seeking out the hidden truths in the music. He also talks about focusing a bit more on bringing out the emotion in the music. And he gives praise to Annie Fischer's set. These three things really made me want to hear his interpretations.

Tonight I listened to his Op. 2 sonatas and really enjoyed them. His playing is confident, clear and unique without being eccentric. The slow movements have great emotional depth and drama, while his outer movements (with one exception) are powerfully strong, while remaining classical in style. His performances are a joy to listen to, as one gets the impression that the pianist really is inside this music and he is playing it in a way that is distinctly unique to him. I hear elements of Backhaus, Annie Fischer and Schnabel in his playing, though he certainly sounds younger than Backhaus and more grounded than Annie Fischer and Schnabel.   
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Offline Holden

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4352 on: February 20, 2020, 08:42:35 PM »
Today I saw this set of Beethoven sonatas (all recorded live) in a local store:



Having never heard of this pianist (or this set) before I did some Googling and found this interesting interview with the pianist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_SaT2Zm6oc

I listened to much of the video walking around the record store and, after listening to some samples on Presto (just listen to unique take on the opening to the Les Adieux sonata), decided to pick up the set. In the interview, he talks about researching different editions, likening the process to that of a private investigator who is seeking out the hidden truths in the music. He also talks about focusing a bit more on bringing out the emotion in the music. And he gives praise to Annie Fischer's set. These three things really made me want to hear his interpretations.

Tonight I listened to his Op. 2 sonatas and really enjoyed them. His playing is confident, clear and unique without being eccentric. The slow movements have great emotional depth and drama, while his outer movements (with one exception) are powerfully strong, while remaining classical in style. His performances are a joy to listen to, as one gets the impression that the pianist really is inside this music and he is playing it in a way that is distinctly unique to him. I hear elements of Backhaus, Annie Fischer and Schnabel in his playing, though he certainly sounds younger than Backhaus and more grounded than Annie Fischer and Schnabel.

Newly available on Spotify - listening now.
Cheers

Holden

Offline Alek Hidell

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4353 on: February 22, 2020, 02:43:31 PM »
Today I saw this set of Beethoven sonatas (all recorded live) in a local store:


I know others have already said it, but that really is an atrocious cover - especially for Alpha, a label that quite often produces handsome cover art. It would be bad regardless, but the little figure of Lifschitz pasted in there - what is he doing, shaking his fist at the giant inescapable presence of LvB? - is what really makes it awful.
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Offline Holden

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4354 on: February 22, 2020, 11:40:03 PM »
I'm listening to the complete set via Spotify.

I have a number of complete sets including (in no particular order) Schnabel, Annie Fischer, Kempff (mono) Barenboim (EMI) Ciani etc. I also have partial sets from a number of other pianists. My go to LvB pianists are Fischer, Hungerford and Richter

In the last decade some of the newer brigade have released cycles but to me they offered nothing new. Yes, they were very well played but I felt that they were uninspired. LvB to a formula? I'm including the likes of Lewis, Biss, Roscoe etc. Others were just too quirky - Jumpannen, Korstick and others.

This is the first cycle in a long time to make me sit up and listen. It's a very personal cycle and I like a lot of what Lifschitz does. As George mentioned, many of the slow movements are absolutely gorgeous. I don't find it annoyingly idiosynchratic. There is no "look at me, look at me, aren't I great" element. At the moment I'm just before the Pathetique.

On another note, all the previous 7 sonatas were recorded live. I hope this is the case for the whole set.
Cheers

Holden

Offline rachmaninoff

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas KONSTANTIN LIFSCHIPZ
« Reply #4355 on: February 23, 2020, 01:29:22 AM »
Hello,

After hearing the first sonatas op 2, very personal,  brutal, vertical, forget the coherence of the all, he makes  me nervous. I have never experienced a listening wisch make me nervous... listen to the first mvmt of the third (op 2 n° 3)....don't understand want he do , not good at all for me.

I will continue of course listen until the n° 32 but....

I can't wait for TODD is judgement....

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4356 on: February 23, 2020, 03:33:11 AM »
Lifschitz takes 2 minutes and 50 seconds for the opening "arietta" theme of op 111/ii. I don't know much about Beethoven but isn't that a bit of a long time? The first variation is full of surprising inner voices. Things don't speed up till the 3rd variation. Then the phone rang and I got distracted.

Nicely recorded.

forget the coherence of the all,

That's what I heard in var 1 of op 111/ii. I like that sort of thing so I shall be exploring.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 03:49:14 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4357 on: February 23, 2020, 06:05:57 AM »
I'm listening to the complete set via Spotify.

I have a number of complete sets including (in no particular order) Schnabel, Annie Fischer, Kempff (mono) Barenboim (EMI) Ciani etc. I also have partial sets from a number of other pianists. My go to LvB pianists are Fischer, Hungerford and Richter

In the last decade some of the newer brigade have released cycles but to me they offered nothing new. Yes, they were very well played but I felt that they were uninspired. LvB to a formula? I'm including the likes of Lewis, Biss, Roscoe etc. Others were just too quirky - Jumpannen, Korstick and others.

This is the first cycle in a long time to make me sit up and listen. It's a very personal cycle and I like a lot of what Lifschitz does. As George mentioned, many of the slow movements are absolutely gorgeous. I don't find it annoyingly idiosynchratic. There is no "look at me, look at me, aren't I great" element. At the moment I'm just before the Pathetique.

On another note, all the previous 7 sonatas were recorded live. I hope this is the case for the whole set.

Well said. Glad you are enjoying the set, Holden. Yes, the whole set was recorded live. I listened to the Op. 10 works yesterday and really enjoyed them.

He did a few interviews, which are posted on youtube, about performing and recording Beethoven that I have enjoyed:

https://youtu.be/UpbM-UkFVSo

https://youtu.be/HdzE5gKbmtI
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Offline Brian

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4358 on: February 23, 2020, 06:18:39 AM »
Lifschitz takes 2 minutes and 50 seconds for the opening "arietta" theme of op 111/ii. I don't know much about Beethoven but isn't that a bit of a long time? The first variation is full of surprising inner voices. Things don't speed up till the 3rd variation. Then the phone rang and I got distracted.
There's a lot of extreme slowness throughout. Friday I listened to Op 31 No 1, where his slow movement is 14'. He sustains it so beautifully that it doesn't ever feel like a stretch, but he also loses a good deal of the humor of the music's exaggerations.

I'm quite excited for the 28' Waldstein as that's one where I like a big romantic approach.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4359 on: February 23, 2020, 10:18:43 AM »


 Waldstein. . . I like a big romantic approach.

It's epic.   I was glad to have heard it. No sense of

forget the coherence of the all,

forunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view I guess.

The sound is good  . . .
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 10:25:08 AM by Mandryka »
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