Author Topic: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas  (Read 889800 times)

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Offline lordlance

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4580 on: December 12, 2021, 12:15:35 PM »
Sviatoslav Richter.  Stephen Kovacevich. Annie Fischer. Maurizio Pollini.

Any specific Richter recordings?

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4581 on: December 12, 2021, 12:20:16 PM »
Any specific Richter recordings?

Yes - early ones, before his heart trouble.  How about this?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richter-Leipzig-Beethoven-recording-remastered/dp/B00G2IQJX6

(I’ve just put it on. If you can tolerate the sound it is exactly what you want, or I’ll eat my hat. Electric, fast, symphonic, lots of wallop.)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2021, 12:31:03 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4582 on: December 12, 2021, 12:46:08 PM »
Most of the sonatas are actually not like the "Appassionata" but often lyrical or playful pieces...

- Gulda (amadeo) is fast and "straightforward", but not loud and despite lack of romantic flexibility actually quite consistently obeying dynamics and score markings. It's just that he usually slows down only a little at "ritenuto" or similar passages and that the bas tempo is usually fast. For me, it's a "classic" and mandatory listening up to the Waldstein and for op.106 and 111.
- Kocsis' disc with op.2/1, op.10/1, op.13 and 31/2
- Rudolf Serkin in op.13 and 57. Like Annie Fischer, often a bit rough.
- Pollini with the live op.22 and Waldstein (DG late 1990s)
- all Gelber on Denon; not unsubtle, more "romantic" than any of the others I mentioned but fastish and intense.
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I knew the night had gone.
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Offline JBS

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Re: Recommendation for Beethoven's piano sonatas
« Reply #4583 on: December 12, 2021, 12:46:54 PM »
I am sure there are approximately 50 threads dedicated to Beethoven PS recs but I come with different needs:
1) I actually find most instrumental and chamber music intolerable because they can often lack the electricity orchestral music can generate (I am sure people will disagree with that.) Sure in piano transcendental etudes is an hour long marathon of manic music but I have often found piano music sorely lacking in the ferocity that orchestral music can bring (for example Chopin - Mazurkas most notably - and even my beloved Liszt in Vallee d'obermann which bored me to death.)
2) Keeping 1 in mind I am looking for a cycle that's high-octane and explosive in energy and not necessarily "subtle" for I don't think I would appreciate those attributes.

Thank you.

I'm not sure the complete cycle is what you want. TBH, I prefer the opposite approach.
I suggest focusing on the Appassionata sonata--which needs to be played the way you like things played--and finding a pianist you like in that single piece, then following up with whatever else they recorded.

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4584 on: December 12, 2021, 01:09:01 PM »
Most of the sonatas are actually not like the "Appassionata" but often lyrical or playful pieces...



Not sure you're right there, the barnstorming aesthetic seems totally central to core Beethoven performance practice to me, from op 2 to op 120. There may be lyrical and playful moments of course, even in the Appassionata. And what lordlance asks for seems to me exactly what the Beethoven heads here often praise to the skies -- electric, high octane, ferocious . . .

Levitt may be another good one for him to think about -- at least if the recordings resemble the concerts (I have heard the recordings)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2021, 01:12:21 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline amw

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4585 on: December 12, 2021, 02:40:18 PM »
For incredibly intense and explosive playing it's hard to recommend anyone other than Schnabel, and most pianists vary from sonata to sonata in that regard. Annie Fischer and Steven Kovacevich come close in some respects. Friedrich Gulda in others (and modern-day pianists who imitate him—Yusuke Kikuchi, Valentina Lisitsa). Peter Serkin might also be a good choice, and Pollini is decent. I've never liked Richter but many people do.

It's probably easier to ask for recordings of specific sonatas that utilise that aesthetic.

Offline George

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Re: Recommendation for Beethoven's piano sonatas
« Reply #4586 on: December 12, 2021, 04:31:00 PM »
I am sure there are approximately 50 threads dedicated to Beethoven PS recs but I come with different needs:
1) I actually find most instrumental and chamber music intolerable because they can often lack the electricity orchestral music can generate (I am sure people will disagree with that.) Sure in piano transcendental etudes is an hour long marathon of manic music but I have often found piano music sorely lacking in the ferocity that orchestral music can bring (for example Chopin - Mazurkas most notably - and even my beloved Liszt in Vallee d'obermann which bored me to death.)
2) Keeping 1 in mind I am looking for a cycle that's high-octane and explosive in energy and not necessarily "subtle" for I don't think I would appreciate those attributes.

Thank you.

For a complete set, given your preferences, I would say Kovacevich on EMI would be the best fit.
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline Jo498

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4587 on: December 13, 2021, 02:52:04 AM »
Not sure you're right there, the barnstorming aesthetic seems totally central to core Beethoven performance practice to me, from op 2 to op 120.

The barnstorming is appropriate in some pieces and movements, less so in others. A piece can also be "electric" and playful at the same time, e.g. the 8th symphony or maybe a sonata like op.31/3.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4588 on: December 13, 2021, 03:11:14 AM »
- Appassionata with Gilels, Moscow 1961
- Opus 111 with Gould

Offline Holden

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4589 on: December 13, 2021, 03:44:22 AM »
- Appassionata with Gilels, Moscow 1961

Absolutely the best Op 57. Richter's 1960 Moscow performance was close to that.
Cheers

Holden

Online Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Recommendation for Beethoven's piano sonatas
« Reply #4590 on: December 13, 2021, 05:16:46 AM »
For a complete set, given your preferences, I would say Kovacevich on EMI would be the best fit.
+1


PD

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Recommendation for Beethoven's piano sonatas
« Reply #4591 on: December 13, 2021, 07:13:24 AM »
For a complete set, given your preferences, I would say Kovacevich on EMI would be the best fit.

Also the first set, which came to my mind after reading the OP.
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Offline George

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Re: Recommendation for Beethoven's piano sonatas
« Reply #4592 on: December 13, 2021, 04:01:13 PM »
Also the first set, which came to my mind after reading the OP.

Great minds think alike.   8)
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Recommendation for Beethoven's piano sonatas
« Reply #4593 on: December 15, 2021, 04:24:44 AM »
+1


PD

Yes. I have that set. And like most of it. I actually find Kovacevich too much to handle in the Appassionata specifically... but maybe that's a good sign.
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Online Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Recommendation for Beethoven's piano sonatas
« Reply #4594 on: December 15, 2021, 04:44:14 AM »
Great minds think alike.   8)
Don't know his earlier recordings of them.

Yes. I have that set. And like most of it. I actually find Kovacevich too much to handle in the Appassionata specifically... but maybe that's a good sign.
To be honest, it's not my favorite set--though I know a lot of people think well of it.  Most of his playing is not my cup of tea.  I'm more of a Kempff or Gilels gal.  I thought though that the person asking for a recommendation (see higher up in the thread) would like them though.

PD

Offline Jo498

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4595 on: December 15, 2021, 05:04:24 AM »
The earlier Philips Kovacevich has only 8 sonatas op.10/1,13, 31,2+3, 101, 109-111, better sound and is less relentless. I had 3 or 4 discs of the EMI recordings and got rid of all but op.2 and I don't really like that one very much. Therefore could never be bothered to get the whole box when it became dirt cheap.
Gulda and Pollini have been charged with being nothing but fast and relentless but I think this fits better for Kovacevich/EMI and the unpleasant sound gives them an even more brutal edge.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Madiel

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4596 on: December 16, 2021, 02:13:00 AM »
I had 3 or 4 discs of the EMI recordings and got rid of all but op.2 and I don't really like that one very much.

If I recall correctly, he re-recorded op.2 for the box (or by the time the box was released).
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Offline lordlance

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4597 on: December 19, 2021, 12:58:02 PM »
Thanks for the recommendations, people. Because of certain circumstances, I happen to download all of Hewitt's Beethoven discs on Hyperion. Any thoughts on them? I am hearing No. 25 at the moment and it's well-played as far as my ears can tell. I heard Vol. 8 and 9 and am now going through Vol. 7.