Author Topic: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas  (Read 741385 times)

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Offline Holden

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #560 on: February 06, 2010, 02:40:51 PM »
I think your a bit too negative Holden. I have the Cd now and I like it a lot -- even the first movement.

But you're right: forward impetus is not his main concern. It's more classical -- stucture and elegance.

Your possibly correct but when you have superb recordings of the Waldstein by Serkin, Gilels (live), Kovacevich, Tomsic and Solomon you can afford to be a little picky. Don't get me wrong, the Cziffra is an excellent performance and I bought it on recommendation and haven't regretted it. It's since been supplanted by the ones I mentioned above.
Cheers

Holden

George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #561 on: February 06, 2010, 02:43:03 PM »
Your possibly correct but when you have superb recordings of the Waldstein by Serkin, Gilels (live), Kovacevich, Tomsic and Solomon you can afford to be a little picky. Don't get me wrong, the Cziffra is an excellent performance and I bought it on recommendation and haven't regretted it. It's since been supplanted by the ones I mentioned above.

Serkin's mono Waldstein is still tops in my book.  :)

Offline Holden

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #562 on: February 06, 2010, 06:36:17 PM »
...and it's probably mine as well....... though Tomsic runs it close.
Cheers

Holden

George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #563 on: February 06, 2010, 06:54:42 PM »
...and it's probably mine as well....... though Tomsic runs it close.

Haven't heard that one. Yet.

George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #564 on: February 06, 2010, 07:03:01 PM »
Haven't heard that one. Yet.

Found it on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuz4xLVWa0A

I see what you mean, Holden, it's a great recoridng. But I recall Serkin's performance as being more exciting.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #565 on: February 06, 2010, 11:22:06 PM »
Found it on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuz4xLVWa0A

I see what you mean, Holden, it's a great recording. But I recall Serkin's performance as being more exciting.

Yes -- but there other ways to play it which sometimes hit the spot with me. That's why I think that the Cziffra recording is so valuable. It does other things with the Waldstein than make it exciting.



Lupu -- he is very good in this. That is maybe my favourite. Well worth trying I would say as you can normally get it for peanuts.

And I like Amir Katz.

But neither Lupu nor Katz are particularly exciting -- they underplay the bravura element of the sonata. And I think that's a jolly good thing.

Serkin's early one  is good -- but the sound is not so good. Schnabel is good too, you know. And so is Pletnev.

Haven't heard Tomsic. Will listen. The clip on youtube sounds like just another Waldstein to me -- but I know not to judge from youtube. The sound syestem on my computer is so poor.

I don't  like Gilels much. Sorry. Not even in the Aix recording.

What do you guys think of Hofmann's Casimir Hall recording? If you think of this as a bravura piece, then I think you will love it.

And another famous one -- Backhaus. He even played it on the last recital disc. Any supporters?

« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 03:38:37 AM by Mandryka »
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George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #566 on: February 07, 2010, 05:59:45 AM »
Yes -- but there other ways to play it which sometimes hit the spot with me. That's why I think that the Cziffra recording is so valuable. It does other things with the Waldstein than make it exciting.

I just listened to it and can see why you like it, though I wouldn't count it among my favorites. I like to hear more struggle in the first movement, more mystery in the second and a faster finale.

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Lupu -- he is very good in this. That is maybe my favourite. Well worth trying I would say as you can normally get it for peanuts.
And I like Amir Katz.
But neither Lupu nor Katz are particularly exciting -- they underplay the bravura element of the sonata. And I think that's a jolly good thing.

Haven't heard the Katz, but I own the Lupu. Haven't heard it, as I bought the CD for his Moonlight (which is the best I have heard.) Will put it on and report back later.

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Serkin's early one  is good -- but the sound is not so good. Schnabel is good too, you know. And so is Pletnev.
Haven't heard Tomsic. Will listen. The clip on youtube sounds like just another Waldstein to me -- but I know not to judge from youtube. The sound syestem on my computer is so poor.
I don't  like Gilels much. Sorry. Not even in the Aix recording.
What do you guys think of Hofmann's Casimir Hall recording? If you think of this as a bravura piece, then I think you will love it.

With the Serkin, the strength of the performance made me forget the sound after a few minutes. I had already heard over two dozen Waldsteins, including his stereo performance and wasn't expecting much. I was blown away by his ability to take the excitement up at least a notch above everyone else that I had heard. Then I heard Hofmann's Casimir recording and was again awestruck. Having previously been only somewhat impressed by Hofmann's performances, I couldn't believe that this was the same pianist. I instantly became a fan of his and started collecting everything I could get my hands on by the pianist.

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And another famous one -- Backhaus. He even played it on the last recital disc. Any supporters?

I enjoy his stereo Decca recording, but I think others do better - Schnabel, Horowitz (Sony), Gilels (DG) and Annie Fischer (Hungaroton.) The latter two were my favorites until I heard Serkin and the Casimir Hofmann. 

George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #567 on: February 07, 2010, 06:14:33 AM »
Lupu -- he is very good in this. That is maybe my favourite. Well worth trying I would say as you can normally get it for peanuts.

Just listened to the Lupu Waldstein. As expected, his tone is lovely. It's well recorded and he plays with great dynamic contrast and sensitivity. I think this is more successful because unlike Cziffra, he doesn't go for the exciting approach from the very start. The finale still lacks some of the excitement I like to hear in this work, but this is a performance that I will certainly return to. Thanks for the recommendation. 

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #568 on: February 07, 2010, 08:05:55 AM »
I am very ambivalent about Casimir.

I went through a phase of being seriously impressed. Hofmann's like that -- the glitter and virtuosity of it all is so entertaining.

But lately I have changed with the wind. When I listen to that Casimir Hall Beethoven I feel that he has turned the sonata into shallow bravura -- there's no depth of feeling there.

And I wouldn't have kind words to say about the Chopin either. To me his crescendos sound like bluster.

But the wind may change direction again.

BTW I just listened to Backhaus's last Waldstein. Compared with Lupu I thought it was really crude.

And I agree that the Lupu recording is probably more successful than Cziffra. But I like Cziffra partly because it is such a personal and unique reading, and I would say that it bears repeated listenening very well. It's interesting.
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George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #569 on: February 07, 2010, 08:11:19 AM »
I am very ambivalent about Casimir.
I went through a phase of being seriously impressed. Hofmann's like that -- the glitter and virtuosity of it all is so entertaining.
But lately I have changed with the wind. When I listen to that Casimir Hall Beethoven I feel that he has turned the sonata into shallow bravura -- there's no depth of feeling there.

I can see what you mean, though I am still happily upwind.  8)

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BTW I just listened to Backhaus's last Waldstien. Compared with Lupu I thought it was really crude.

Talk about a pair of opposites.  :o To me, Backhaus only really sounds good next to his own work. Whenever I have compared him against others, he has never come up in first or even second place. However, I still enjoy his stereo set and recommend it to others. He's just very individual and best enjoyed after just hearing another Backhaus recording IMO.

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And I agree that the Lupu recording is probably more successful than Cziffra. But I like Cziffra partly because it is such a personal and unique reading, and I would say that it bears repeated listenening very well. It's interesting.

I'm sure I'll try out the Cziffra again. I kinda wish he'd at least pretend that those difficult passages were difficult for him.  ;D

Offline Holden

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #570 on: February 08, 2010, 01:55:26 AM »
I've just relistened to both the Tomsic and the Serkin and in the end it's the depth of playing in the "Introduzione" and the slightly slower (but no less dramatic) speed of the Serkin Rondo that wins out for me. I've played this piece and while my execution of the prestissimo is just a total mess I enjoy the rest of the work. What appeals to me about Serkin is that he plays at tempos that I would play at. Tomsic is a fraction too fast in the Rondo for my liking but it's still a great exposition of this movement.

I had one Waldstein up my sleeve that I neglected to reveal and it may suit Mandryka. I don't know if it's on YouTube but the Hungerford Op 53 is something quite special.
Cheers

Holden

George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #571 on: February 08, 2010, 05:39:30 AM »
I had one Waldstein up my sleeve that I neglected to reveal and it may suit Mandryka. I don't know if it's on YouTube but the Hungerford Op 53 is something quite special.

Yes, I listened to that one this morning and it is indeed special. Great forward momentum in the first movement, nice stillness in the second and though the finale wasn't as good, it ended quite well.

Offline Clever Hans

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #572 on: February 08, 2010, 10:52:07 AM »
Serkin's mono Waldstein is still tops in my book.  :)

Is this the one on the music & arts disc?
http://www.musicandarts.com/CDpages/CD1141hi.html

George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #573 on: February 08, 2010, 11:05:04 AM »
Is this the one on the music & arts disc?
http://www.musicandarts.com/CDpages/CD1141hi.html

Yes it is. The Sound Quality isn't very good, just so you know.

Archiv Music has it - http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=132112
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 11:07:35 AM by George »

Offline Clever Hans

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #574 on: February 08, 2010, 11:15:52 AM »
Yes it is. The Sound Quality isn't very good, just so you know.

Archiv Music has it - http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=132112

I don't mind old piano recordings, and I love Serkin. Thanks for the heads up. I will put this in my queue.

George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #575 on: February 08, 2010, 11:20:19 AM »
I don't mind old piano recordings, and I love Serkin. Thanks for the heads up. I will put this in my queue.

Your welcome. I just sent you a personal message.

Offline Clever Hans

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #576 on: February 08, 2010, 11:36:31 AM »
Your welcome. I just sent you a personal message.

Replied, joyfully informed.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #577 on: February 09, 2010, 10:58:53 PM »


I had one Waldstein up my sleeve that I neglected to reveal and it may suit Mandryka. I don't know if it's on YouTube but the Hungerford Op 53 is something quite special.

I will listen.

And one up my sleeve for you. Moiseiwitch's on Naxos.

I enjoy it despite myself. George -- if you think Lupu's tone is lovely, just wait till you hear this.

With pianists of Moiseiwitch's ilk, there's always a danger of being seduced by the ravishing beauty of the tone, and the sparkle. And there is an equal and opposite danger of devaluing it because it is so ravishing (that's a trap I often fall into.)

 But I think that Moiseiwitch is rather more than empty note spinning here. It's full of memorable insights.

BTW you can't but applaud Naxos for their Moiseiwitch series. Some real treasures have become easily and cheaply available as a result of that project.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 08:50:07 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #578 on: February 10, 2010, 03:54:40 AM »
Mandryka - Those Moisewitsch Naxos CDs have been on my MDT wishlist ever since they came out. At some point (likely the next sale at MDT) I will snap some (or all) of them up.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #579 on: February 10, 2010, 08:14:59 AM »
Mandryka - Those Moisewitsch Naxos CDs have been on my MDT wishlist ever since they came out. At some point (likely the next sale at MDT) I will snap some (or all) of them up.

He's always outstanding pre-war, and sometimes outstanding after that.

The single best record of his is, I think, the one of Schumann and Brahms on Testament -- I don't know if that stuff has transfered to Naxos or not.

And if you look on rmcr I posted a link recently to his 1939 Chopin Barcarolle, which is quite extraordinary and very hard to find (don't confuse it with his inferior 1941 recording) . Let me know if you can't find the link and you are interested.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen