Author Topic: Les Adieux  (Read 1453 times)

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Offline Holden

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Les Adieux
« on: November 24, 2021, 11:51:12 PM »
After a prompt from a FB post I started to explore a couple of recordings of Op81a. I then googled "Best recordings of Les Adieux" and got no real hits. It's almost as if this sonata is anonymous and that it's not listened to that often. I then went into my database/CD rips to see how many recordings I have of this work. I was quite surprised at the number and range of performers. It's not complete but they include"

Serkin mono from the late 40s early 50s
Kempff mono
Gilels DGG and Live from 1980 on Brilliant
Annie Fischer
Bruce Hungerford
Ivan Moravec
Barenboim - Warner Classics
Artur Schnabel
Arthur Rubinstein
Hans Richter-Haaser
Robert Casadesus
Murray Perahia
Craig Sheppard
Solomon
Frederich Gulda
Dino Ciani
Michael Houstoun - first cycle

I only ran through my LvB sonatas/pianists database and probably have a couple more somewhere.

I'm sure that I have some great recordings of this work in the above but maybe there is something I've missed. For example I don't have Brendel or Arrau. I also don't have any Gieseking, Heidseick, Frank, Lucchesini, and many others.

If you were to return to any performance of Op81a on a regular basis what would it be and why?
Cheers

Holden

Offline Jo498

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Re: Les Adieux
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2021, 12:02:08 AM »
I think I liked Rubinstein, even the lateish stereo version, quite a bit. The sonata also was a favorite of Bruno Leonardo Gelber whose Beethoven I rate very highly, so there should be one recording on EMI from the 70s and one on Denon from the late 80s or early 90s. Also Gilels but as usual I tend to find the studio recording a bit overly controlled. One does not get the impression of "bursting at the seams" in the finale.
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 André Le Nôtre

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Re: Les Adieux
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2021, 12:44:15 AM »
I thought Myra Hess recorded it, but now I can't find it.

Backhaus?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2021, 12:59:56 AM by André Le Nôtre »

Offline Iota

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Re: Les Adieux
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2021, 06:18:19 AM »
A fairly recent find for me has been Jingge Yan on Fontenay Classics. He has a sort of decluttered approach to Beethoven that creates a transparency in the music I find much to its benefit. Les Adieux was one of the first ones I heard and is well worth a listen.

Offline hvbias

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Re: Les Adieux
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2021, 11:41:22 AM »
It's almost as if this sonata is anonymous and that it's not listened to that often.

If you were to return to any performance of Op81a on a regular basis what would it be and why?

I think it's quite a popular sonata.

I can't recall any off the top of my head that are head and shoulders above the rest. One I've personally enjoyed quite a bit in the last couple of years is Kempff's 1928 recording, he balances the fantasy of the first movement with a rollicking closing movement, and not just because of the swiftish tempo. Backhaus takes a similar tempo in his 1930s recording but it doesn't come off as interesting.

https://youtu.be/1oV0yJQO8HA
https://youtu.be/kkbEy353niQ
https://youtu.be/pivI-yT3mHs
« Last Edit: November 25, 2021, 11:43:45 AM by hvbias »
"I feel very strongly about Chopin — I just love him" - Fou Ts'ong

Offline Todd

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Re: Les Adieux
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2021, 04:10:05 PM »
This sonata is very much a performance dependent one for me.  Great performances exhilarate.  Poor ones seem to drag on for thirty or forty minutes.  In many cycles it sort of fades from memory as it comes after more famous middle sonatas and even Opp 78 and 79, which I prefer, and the later sonatas.  I'd have to do some serious A/Bs to come up with a ranking, though Serkin and Backhaus both come to mind as very fine renditions. 
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