Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Beethoven: The Piano Sonatas Vol. VI
Genres: New Age, Classical
András Schiff s Beethoven cycle, recorded live in chronological order at Tonhalle Zurich, continues to collect critical praise as it moves forward to the — later middle period. Volume VI, including sonatas from the period — ... more »
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András Schiff s Beethoven cycle, recorded live in chronological order at Tonhalle Zurich, continues to collect critical praise as it moves forward to the
later middle period. Volume VI, including sonatas from the period
between 1804 and 1810, offers some of the most famous and widely-known works together with an astonishing variety of forms and concepts, a
constellation which, once again, highlights the attractiveness of Schiff s chronological approach.
Schiff Continues to Enthrall
Joe Murray | New York, NY USA | 07/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Andras Schiff continues to enthrall with his series of Beethoven Piano Sonatas. I highly recommend his lecture series, given at Wigmore Hall, and captured on the Guardian UK website. His in-depth exploration of these pieces is illuminating. I am most impressed in Schiff's passionate and pure takes on the lesser-known sonatas. His G Major Sonata, No 25, will thrill and delight the listener. I have nothing to say about the Appasionata - it is supremely played and lived. As for Les Adieux, the slow movement is heart-wrenching, and the last movement, the return, is a breath of fresh air. I cannot wait to hear these pieces live at Carnegie Hall this year."
András Schiff defines Beethoven's piano sonatas
Scaffa | Sweden | 01/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to the eight volumes of András Schiff's cycle of Beethoven's piano sonatas released by ECM Records. The lay out of the volumes is as follows:
Vol 1: opp. 2 and 7
Vol 2: opp. 10 and 13
Vol 3: opp. 49, 14 and 22
Vol 4: opp. 26, 27 and 28
Vol 5: opp. 31 and 53
Vol 6: opp. 54, 57, 78, 79 and 81a
Vol 7: opp. 90, 101 and 106
Vol 8: opp. 109, 110 and 111
All recordings except those on the last volume are of live performances (from 2004 to 2006) in the Tonhalle Zurich in front of a very quiet audience. No coughing between movements, no applause at the end, and hardly any noise at all during performances. The last volume was recorded in the empty hall of the Reitstadel in Neumarkt, Germany. The sound quality is superb throughout. The separation of the channels is done so that you have the higher notes, located on the right hand side of the keyboard, in the right channel, and the lower notes in the left channel. Personally I find this the only acceptable way of organising piano music into a stereo recording. It gives you the impression of sitting in with the pianist.
Schiff's performances are of the highest order. He even manages to breathe new life into often-heard sonatas such as the Op 27-2, Moonlight. Pianists have not been able to agree on how to interpret Beethoven's instructions for the first movement of the Moonlight. Some, including Schiff, take Beethoven literally and push down the pedal for the entire movement (this and many other things is explained by Schiff in his Wigmore Hall lectures which are available for free download from the Guardian website). Gulda did the same in his 1950s cycle but not in his 1960s cycle. The result is mesmerising and beautiful. In addition, Schiff plays the Moonlight sonata at a slightly faster speed than what is commonly done, which makes for a fresh and contemporary take on this well-known piece.
No single cycle will probably satisfy you completely. I find much of Barenboim's playing on his 1960s cycle very odd but his performance of the Hammerklavier would follow me to a desert island. Gulda's 1960s cycle is mostly excellent (as is the sound, but one has to accentuate 'mostly' here because there are some awkward splices) but I can't think of any better way of starting your exploration of these magnificent works than by listening to Schiff's cycle. He has a sublime touch, a masterly control over his means and an artistic sensibility that will convince you that this is how Beethoven should be played. And it's all rendered in glorious sound. Highly recommendable.
Some wonderful playing, but...
LB Linde | Cape Town, South Africa | 08/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought as much of this new series of Sonatas as I could get hold of after listening short excerpts. Mr Schiff provides quite a wonderful, new and fresh interpretation of these great works, but unfortunately he tends to spoil some of the wonder by literally hammering out his fortissimo passages in a way that might even surprise and upset those of us who value interpretation that is true to the presumed playing style prevalent during Beethoven's lifetime.
Playing is (as mentioned by another reviewer) sometimes unexpectedly sluggish.
The thing that clearly stands out is his playing of the slower movements which are crisp, but gentle with wonderful consideration of melodic lines.
But this collection of discs will probably do for the Beethoven Piano Sonatas what Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis did for the Beethoven Violin sonatas with their recent recordings which are loved by some and despised by some."