Beautifully performed Beethoven sonatas!
Mike Powers | Woolwich, ME USA | 08/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD contains Ludwig van Beethoven's last three piano sonatas, Opp. 109, 110, and 111. Composed during the last few years before Beethoven died in 1827, this trio of sonatas is undoubtedly the most beautiful solo piano music he ever wrote. Each sonata demonstrates in its own way that Beethoven's music had, by the early 1820s, moved into a new realm, transcending traditional forms altogether. The first and third sonatas on this disc (Op. 109 and Op. 111) were written in only two movements, and yet contain remarkable shifts of mood and tempi. Each of their slow and songlike ("adagio molto cantabile") second movements have a wonderfully sublime, ethereal quality to them. The second sonata (Op. 110) is written in the more traditional three movement form, but begins and ends with slower, rather than faster movements, and places the livelier "allegro" movement in the center.Hungarian classical pianist Jeno Jando, who recorded the complete cycle of 32 Beethoven piano sonatas for the Naxos label, performs these three masterpieces with unrivaled musicianship. His musical interpretations are unfailingly eloquent; he beautifully captures Beethoven's sometimes sudden, and at other times subtle mood shifts with superb artistry.This CD, which has superb sound quality, was awarded a three-star rating (signifying "an outstanding performance and recording in every way,") by the "Penguin Guide to Compact Discs." This Naxos recording is indeed a very enjoyable listening experience. Highly recommended!"
Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 11/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Penguin Good CD Guide gave this recording a three-star rating, meaning excellent in interpretation and sound. I have not had the opportunity to compare it with any other disc of the same music, but I felt that Jenö Jandó probably deserved this praise: his playing is unidiosyncratic but really exposes the listener to Beethoven, in this instance to a Beethoven who completely transcends all expected sonata forms and produces music which is spell-binding, transfixing and on occasion even modern to the point of sounding like jazz (the 'boogy-woogy' passage in Op. 111). The recorded sound is, for the most part, also very good, although the last seven minutes or so of Op. 111 are a little marred by some noise that makes this part of the CD sound very much like a scratchy or dirty LP. - My recommendation would be to wait for one of those long winter evenings, to settle down in a comfortable armchair with a half-bottle of good red wine and then to read chapter 8 of Thomas Mann's classic novel 'Doctor Faustus' (Wendell Kretschmar's Beethoven lecture) and to listen to this disc all in one sitting."