Author Topic: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas  (Read 741389 times)

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Offline Todd

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #580 on: April 27, 2010, 11:53:27 AM »
Because there are not enough complete cycles, I started looking for new cycles in progress.  Sure enough I found the following (all on micro-labels):

Irina Mejoueva - now complete, available in Japan

Martin Roscoe - just under way (Volume 1 coming soon)

Per Tengstrand - just under way (Volumes 1 & 2 coming soon)

Mitsutaka Shiraishi - First two volumnes out


Nah, I don't need to hear any of these . . .
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Bulldog

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #581 on: April 27, 2010, 12:01:30 PM »
Because there are not enough complete cycles, I started looking for new cycles in progress.  Sure enough I found the following (all on micro-labels):

Irina Mejoueva - now complete, available in Japan

Martin Roscoe - just under way (Volume 1 coming soon)

Per Tengstrand - just under way (Volumes 1 & 2 coming soon)

Mitsutaka Shiraishi - First two volumnes out


Nah, I don't need to hear any of these . . .

Same here.

Offline Todd

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #582 on: April 29, 2010, 05:29:30 AM »



Looks like the Andante liner notes to the Gulda set of Schubert, Debussy, et al had it right after all: Friedrich Gulda did record three LvB sonata cycles, and the one that hasn't been released is the earliest, from the early 50s, when Gulda was a very young man.  I don't think this will be as good as his Amadeo cycle since his earlier Decca cycle is not, and most of the other early career recordings I've heard don't quite match the later ones for quality.  But I must have it.  Alas, I must wait for almost a whole month to get it.  Damn.

(Presto Classical already has it listed: http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Orfeo/C808109L.)
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Offline Bogey

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #583 on: September 19, 2010, 03:07:26 PM »
Listening to and comparing these two "Pathétiques", about 20 years apart.  I played each movement from each cd, so both firsts, etc.


1946
Timings
6:43
5:13
4:36


1962
Timings
8:44
5:35
4:42

Taking into account the added noise on the first, the later recording still had me as I just prefer the slower approach.  Also, on the first third movements of the earlier recording I found Rubinstein's playing a bit too playful for my taste.  Not that he went "honky-tonk" on it, but enough "cuteness" to make me raise an eyebrow and pause while getting my weekly ironing done.

Hmmm....noticed a 1954 recording.  That may be of interest.  Volume 33 on that one, George.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 03:12:41 PM by Bogey »
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Offline Bogey

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #584 on: September 19, 2010, 03:18:40 PM »
Ah, what the heck....spinning

Op. 8 No. 13 Op 13 No. 8 ;D

« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 03:36:07 PM by Bogey »
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #585 on: September 19, 2010, 03:36:18 PM »
Listening to and comparing these two "Pathétiques", about 20 years apart.  I played each movement from each cd, so both firsts, etc.


1946
Timings
6:43
5:13
4:36


1962
Timings
8:44
5:35
4:42

Taking into account the added noise on the first, the later recording still had me as I just prefer the slower approach.  Also, on the first third movements of the earlier recording I found Rubinstein's playing a bit too playful for my taste.  Not that he went "honky-tonk" on it, but enough "cuteness" to make me raise an eyebrow and pause while getting my weekly ironing done.

Hmmm....noticed a 1954 recording.  That may be of interest.  Volume 33 on that one, George.

Thanks for that Bill, I would suspect that most of that big difference in the first movement is due to an omitted repeat. At any rate, I have the later one and therefore, I am glad you enjoy it more.  8)

George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #586 on: September 19, 2010, 03:37:00 PM »
Ah, what the heck....spinning

Op. 8 No. 13 Op 13 No. 8 ;D



Now you're cookin'  8)

You got Moravec's Pathetique yet?  $:)

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #587 on: September 19, 2010, 03:43:19 PM »
Now you're cookin'  8)

You got Moravec's Pathetique yet?  $:)

Watch it Bill. George is a cruel man who wants company on the path he's chosen...  >:D 

:)

8)

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Now playing:
Andreas Staier (Fortepiano) & Damiel Sepec (Violin) - Bia 340 2 Op 30 #2 Sonata #7 in c for Keyboard & Violin 4th mvmt - Allegro
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George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #588 on: September 19, 2010, 03:44:57 PM »
Watch it Bill. George is a cruel man who wants company on the path he's chosen... 

Call me Roper...


Offline Bogey

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #589 on: September 19, 2010, 03:49:51 PM »
Now you're cookin'  8)

You got Moravec's Pathetique yet?  $:)


Dfifiuclt to tpye and iron at the smae tmie. ;D

Not on cd.  I believe I have it in the "vinyl vault".

Now "Pathétique" a la Schnabel (recorded 1933/34).  Rain just came in so it's adding to the sound....wait.....check that....it's just the Pearl transfer. ;D



Watch it Bill. George is a cruel man who wants company on the path he's chosen...  >:D 

:)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Andreas Staier (Fortepiano) & Damiel Sepec (Violin) - Bia 340 2 Op 30 #2 Sonata #7 in c for Keyboard & Violin 4th mvmt - Allegro

:D


There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #590 on: September 19, 2010, 03:52:21 PM »
Now "Pathétique" a la Schnabel (recorded 1933/34).  Rain just came in so it s adding to the sound....wait.....check that....it's just the Pearl transfer. ;D

 ;D :D ;D

Oh and Bill, I'm not cruel. If I was, I would have suggested Bernard Roberts's cycle.  0:)

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #591 on: September 19, 2010, 03:57:46 PM »
;D :D ;D

Oh and Bill, I'm not cruel. If I was, I would have suggested Bernard Roberts's cycle.  0:)

Fair enough, your point is made. :D

8)

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Quatuor Mosaiques - D 173 Quartet #9 in g for Strings 3rd mvmt - Allegro vivace
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Offline Fred

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #592 on: October 22, 2010, 02:35:37 PM »
On a whim, I got the El Bacha complete Beethoven from Amazon France (33 euro - you can also get his complete chopin for the same price) and thought he was magnificent.  Someone in this post has called him boring, but I thought he was anything but.  Maybe that was the impression he gave because he has a truly outstanding technique and usually moves along at a flowing tempo, without many heavy accents or pauses.  In other words, he doesn't over-interpret like so many in this field. But when he hits the turbo button he can be breathtaking.
 
Anyway, I think it's an exceptional set.  Got no idea why this guy doesn't have a big name like lots of the pretentious bores play the Beethoven sonatas who do. 

Oh, and the sound is exceptional.

Offline Todd

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #593 on: October 23, 2010, 09:10:05 AM »
Got no idea why this guy doesn't have a big name like lots of the pretentious bores play the Beethoven sonatas who do. 

Oh, and the sound is exceptional.



I'm one of those people who think his cycle is boring.  It's just plain bland and mechanical.  You are right, he doesn't over-interpret.  It sounds like he's sight reading most of the time; he doesn't really interpret at all.  The reason he doesn't have a big name is because he's not particularly good.  Out of curiosity, who are the pretentious bores you refer to?

I must also disagree about the sound.  It's mostly mediocre by even 80s standards.  I have no idea how you can say it’s exceptional.  Nakamichi, Lewis, Sherman, Willems, Brautigam (for HIP fans), most of Pommier, now those cycles are in exceptional sound. 
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Bulldog

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #594 on: October 23, 2010, 12:25:17 PM »
I'm not familiar with El Bacha's Beethoven, but I am very familiar with his Schumann: lousy piano tone and entirely generic performances.

Offline Holden

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #595 on: October 23, 2010, 12:57:54 PM »
one man's meat....... oh well.

I've just received this



...and it was not what I expected!!

Previous EG sonata performances I'd heard include the Moscow 1961 of 8, 14, 23, a fantastic Waldstein from 1966, Les Adieux and briefly, the Hammerklavier. I'd been expecting something a bit more bombastic, good solid performances, well interpreted and great to listen to - a la Annie Fischer I suppose.

Well, this is very thoughtful playing indeed. it was evident from the first few bars of Op 2 no 2 and it is endemic throughout the sadly incomplete cycle. I know the LvB PS very well both as a listener and a player and EG had me carefully listening to virtually every bar. This is not because of feats of jaw dropping prestidigitation but the way the work was unfolding, in a completely fresh way, before my ears.

Yes, when he has to Gilels lets her rip, but only when he has to. No unnecessary bravura here. So what stands out? Well, immaculate phrasing for a start and in many cases because he eschews the use of the sustain pedal an incredible clarity of  line and articulation. There are delicately voiced ppps, thunderous fffs and a wide and rich tonal palette. It's made me realise that I had come to have a somewhat monochromatic view of these works and that there is a world beyond Richter (who I love in LvB).

The down side is I now feel obliged to seek out sets I'd avoided such as the mono Kempff who I know has a different interpretative perspective from what I am currently listening to. Maybe Nat, Heidsieck and Frank should be on my list of acquired LvB though I can't imagine them surpassing this set.

I'm giving it the Todd litmus test at the moment - Op 31.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who has this box set.
Cheers

Holden

Offline Todd

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #596 on: October 23, 2010, 02:10:37 PM »
I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who has this box set.



I have the earlier incarnation, and it is top-flight stuff.  His absolute technical command, and his almost breath-taking dynamic range, make the set indispensible.  His playing is generally slower than I prefer, but that matters not one bit.  He makes the strongest possible case for his approach and for slower tempi. 

Of the other cycles you mention, the one you may want to try first is Heidsieck’s.  His approach is unique, to say the least.  It’s downright idiosyncratic at times, but it always sounds of-the-moment, or close to it, even though Heidsieck obviously put a lot of thought into what he wanted to do.  (The sound is a bit bright and metallic).  Frank is also exceptional, but he’s sterner and less flexible than Heidsieck or Gilels.  Kempff’s mono set is, for me, a must hear.
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Offline Coopmv

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #597 on: October 23, 2010, 05:10:09 PM »

There are limited choices if you want to go complete.  Brautigam is almost done and is mixed (at least for me); Paul Badura-Skoda recorded a period cycle, but it's hard to find complete (though single volumes pop up); Malcolm Binns on L'Oiseau Lyre is out there; and Hiroaki Ooi is a newcomer.  For incomplete cycles, Paul Komen's is almost universally lauded.  That's what I will most likely try next in the period arena. 

Alexei Lubimov, Melvyn Tan, Jos van Immerseel, and John Khouri have apparently recorded some as well.  (There are no doubt others.)  I also read that Andrea Lucchesini has perfomed some LvB on period instruments.  I'd like to hear that, on disc or in person.

I already have 9 complete cycles and I am done.

Offline Fred

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #598 on: October 24, 2010, 04:55:12 PM »
Interesting how Gilels gets to be solid and straightforward (and that's acceptable) because he's a Russian big name - though, quite frankly, his Hammerklavier sends me to sleep (though not as much as Arrau).

El Bacha, on the other hand, is accused of sight-reading.  But I take back what I've said about him being good - if he's sight-reading his way through the hammerklavier, he's a genius.

Offline Holden

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #599 on: October 25, 2010, 01:50:00 AM »
Interesting how Gilels gets to be solid and straightforward (and that's acceptable) because he's a Russian big name - though, quite frankly, his Hammerklavier sends me to sleep (though not as much as Arrau).

El Bacha, on the other hand, is accused of sight-reading.  But I take back what I've said about him being good - if he's sight-reading his way through the hammerklavier, he's a genius.

This is an interesting reply from you Fred. At no stage did I suggest that Gilels was solid and straight forward in the Hammerklavier.

Any competent pianist could sight read their way through the Hammerklavier. I believe that Barenboim could do it before he was 13!
Cheers

Holden