Beautiful historical rendition of the beethoven sonatas
Bart Weisser | Canada | 01/31/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Before I write the review, I must give the readers a warning. This is a historical recording, meaning that you will hear statics, scratches, and most of all, it's in mono. I personally find these imperfections give much warmth to the recording themselves, but others might disagree.
In this particular recording, I don't hear so much static suggested by another reviewer. The engineer has done what he could to clean up the sound. There are other parts you hear that indicate physical damage to the original recording, but there is not much you can do about them. Fortuantely, that only happened twice in the whole CD set (I think).
I have been looking for the Beethoven violin/piano sonatas for a long time, and this is definitely a much welcomed rendition, let alone played by Szigetti and Arrau. The music is penetrating, and they co-ordinated their efforts, as if it were a single player playing both instruments. Just listen to the fugue section in the last movement of the 7th, you will hear how together they were.
The surprising thing is that, unlike most recordings done around that time, most of the sonatas are played with repeats. Some of these were obviously concert recordings (you can hear coughs here and there) so the peroformers are not constrained with the limited capacity of the LP recording.
Finally, the interpretations are slightly different than what you would expect from the modern ones. The staccati were played with their full values, and some parts are played at a different tempo then the "accepted standard" playing. This only adds to the character of the pieces."
Szigeti & Arrau: the Golden Age.
Nobis Ettore | 03/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My neighbour is an old admirer of Szigeti he saw him in Stockholm some 55 years ago. My neighbour is also a collector of carpet fragments from Anatolia så he had two reasons to like Szigeti's CD: first for sentimental reasons and after because he thinks that history adds to quality (you can see Szigety as you do with an old fresco in Pompei or in other Italian places; worn but stil magnificent). Szigeti's aristocratic elegans comes forward in spite of some imperfections. I am happy to have bought it. Ettore Nobis."