Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ludwig van Beethoven, András Schiff|
Beethoven: The Piano Sonatas, Vol. 5 (Opp. 31 and 53)
The release of the fifth volume of András Schiff's complete recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas marks the start of an incredible musical journey for Mr. Schiff, and his USA concert audiences. On October 3rd, Schiff b... more »
Listen to Samples
The release of the fifth volume of András Schiff's complete recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas marks the start of an incredible musical journey for Mr. Schiff, and his USA concert audiences. On October 3rd, Schiff begins a twoseason tour running through Spring 2009 during which he will perform all 32 sonatas (in chronological order) in four cities: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Ann Arbor. The sonatas on Volume V, from Beethoven's so called "middle period" (the first years of the 19th century), include the famed "Waldstein" - Sonata No. 21 C major op. 53. Also included is the original slow movement from the "Waldstein," the "Andante favori," which Beethoven later dismissed out of formal considerations. Whether performing Bach, Beethoven, Janácek or Mozart, András Schiff is one of the most heralded and acclaimed pianists of his generation. The New York Times says "Mr. Schiff has been playing for so long with such elegant pianism, consummate artistry and selfless dedication that it is easy to take him for granted." The upcoming Beethoven cycle will surely remind people not to! András Schiff is a native of Hungary and has recorded for ECM since 1997.
Similarly Requested CDs
Beethoven through fresh eyes and ears
J. Cegledy | 10/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
Andras Schiff continues his impressive Beethoven Sonatas series. It is characterized by that rare combination of keen sensitivity to musical expression, fidelity to text and meticulous attention to detail. The articulation and lively crispness of execution is a sheer delight. There are many surprising insights that are completely convincing. Of the many great Beethoven Sonatas recordings, this can be most recommended to students as an example of how to bring the text alive without any exaggeration yet with sensitivity and depth of musical expression.
The booklets in this series are of special interest. Andras Schiff shares his outlook and insights on these works and we get a glimpse of how great interpretations evolve. For piano students as well as for lovers of these works, Andras Schiff's Beethoven Sonata series is to be highly recommended!
Janos Cegledy, Tokyo"
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.
Schiff's free Beethoven sonata lectures
Fred Von Lohmann | San Francisco, CA United States | 03/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Don't miss Andras Schiff's excellent lectures about Beethoven's sonatas. The perfect accompaniment for this cycle, available for free from the Guardian UK website (google: schiff guardian uk)."