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#1996341 - 12/08/12 10:10 AM Beethoven sonatas
im@me Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/12
Posts: 68
I have just around 1 hour ago purchased Alfred Brendel playing the Beethoven sonatas, it is my personal favorite recording, but what is your favorite? and why?


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#1996634 - 12/08/12 11:04 PM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: im@me]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 643
Wilhelm Kempff.

#1996663 - 12/08/12 11:53 PM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: im@me]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6451
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Daniel Barenboim.

Music is my best friend.

#1996688 - 12/09/12 01:11 AM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: im@me]
DonaldLee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 182
I like Perahia and Barenboim. I find Brendel's playing of the sonatas too reserved for my tastes.
Donald Lee III
BM '16 James Madison University
MM '18 Cincinnati Conservatory of Music

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#1996692 - 12/09/12 01:20 AM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: im@me]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5446
Loc: Philadelphia
I don't believe I have any one pianist whom I favor for every sonata. But I will say that my favorite single performance of any one Beethoven sonata was Horowitz playing the Pathetique. Close 2nd is Arrau playing the Appassionata.
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

#1996841 - 12/09/12 10:02 AM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: im@me]
Gerard12 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 787
Loc: South Carolina
Alfred Brendel has recorded the 'complete' Beethoven sonata cycle 3 times: During the 60's, 70's, and 90's. I prefer his 1970's cycle, which I include as one in a handful of favorite complete cycle recordings.

Edited by Gerard12 (12/10/12 07:51 AM)
Edit Reason: grammar, spelling, general ineptitude.....
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#1996864 - 12/09/12 10:58 AM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: im@me]
didyougethathing Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 548
Loc: New York

#1996888 - 12/09/12 11:48 AM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: DonaldLee]
JdhPiano924 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1049
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
Originally Posted By: DonaldLee
I like Perahia and Barenboim. I find Brendel's playing of the sonatas too reserved for my tastes.

I totally agree here. Barenboim is amazing for the sonatas, his timing and use of rubato seems perfect.

I generally enjoy Perahia more, but sadly he has not done the entire cycle.

#1997032 - 12/09/12 06:01 PM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: im@me]
trigalg693 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 886
I can't even say I have a favorite pianist for a complete Sonata. My favorite recording out there is probably Pletnev's Appassionata 3rd movement.

#1997196 - 12/10/12 01:46 AM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: im@me]
DameMyra Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 2153
Loc: South Jersey
I prefer Brendel's first set for Vox. I purchased these as a teenager and they were my first exposure to many of the sonatas. The impression they made on me at the time have stayed with me my entire life.
Private Piano Teacher

#1997204 - 12/10/12 02:35 AM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: im@me]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Way back in 1989 I joined a high power delegation to Washington as their architectural boffin (you don’t have to chortle) and was fortunate to pick up Alfred Brendel’s Beethoven Sonatas.

Felt that I was walking on air ... but had nobody with whom to kick my heels ... it’s surprising how few cultured people (said with a stiff upper lip) we have around us (move over gov'!)

My igorant lot wouldn’t have known a Waldstein from a “pathetic”.

It’s a hard life!

#1997239 - 12/10/12 05:20 AM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: im@me]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8828
This is one of those topics that comes around again and again (with good reason, I might add...I'm not complaining). You may want to search the archives for some interesting answers.

There are too many great recordings of both the entire cycle and of individual sonatas to choose a "favorite", but if somebody asked for a recommendation for the cycle, I'd probably go with the first Gulda recording. I like its overall "Classical" clarity, fire, and intelligence.

#1997329 - 12/10/12 10:53 AM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: im@me]
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1733
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
Kovacevich and Brautigam. The latter's cycle is a truly wonderful melding of head and heart.
Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

#1997440 - 12/10/12 04:36 PM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: Janus K. Sachs]
fledgehog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 273
Loc: West Hartford, CT
Originally Posted By: Janus K. Sachs
Kovacevich and Brautigam. The latter's cycle is a truly wonderful melding of head and heart.

Brautigam is my turn-to cycle for the Mozart sonatas, but I still thoroughly believe that the Beethoven sonatas sound better on the modern piano (and that if Beethoven were alive today he would discourage fortepiano performances, especially of the middle and late ones).

#1997925 - 12/11/12 02:44 PM Re: Beethoven sonatas [Re: im@me]
pianoslacker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/12
Posts: 50
This thread just doesn't look right without two names:


so I've added 'em. smile

(I bought the Gilels set last month and love it.)


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