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Favorite complete LvB Sonatas recording? #2797463
01/01/19 01:33 PM
01/01/19 01:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
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jon-nyc Offline OP
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I’m sure there have been threads about this in the past but I’m interested in what the current crop of posters has to say.

Who’s complete recording of the Sonatas do you like best, and why?

If there is more than one you want to mention, that’s fine.


If you don't talk to your children about equal temperment, who will?
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Re: Favorite complete LvB Sonatas recording? [Re: jon-nyc] #2797466
01/01/19 01:48 PM
01/01/19 01:48 PM
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New York
Mark_C Online content
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Easy one for me:
Eric Heidsieck

Why? He sees things in unusual ways, and with a "spark."

I'm biased because I know him and have had some lessons with him. (Met him through the Paris amateur competition -- he's been a judge there.)
But I don't think that's why I love his playing. I think I'd love his playing if I'd discovered him in some other way and didn't know him personally.

Re: Favorite complete LvB Sonatas recording? [Re: jon-nyc] #2797478
01/01/19 02:18 PM
01/01/19 02:18 PM
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Posts: 22,273
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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I have been very impressed with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's recordings of the Haydn Sonatas I have listened to, and I also have his complete Beethoven Sonatas (recorded on Chandos) which I haven't yet had time to listen to in their entirety, but he brings the same classical clarity to the early Sonatas that he does to the Haydn. It's almost as if he were playing without pedal, yet there is no lack of warmth, line and phrasing. The early Sonatas sound appropriately Haydnesque, not overly Romantic, with good forward drive.

I also like Richard Goode's complete recordings for the middle-of-the-road, no-nonsense approach to the Sonatas. They seem to me to be a benchmark from which others may digress, but I often return to Goode for a solid reading of the works.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Favorite complete LvB Sonatas recording? [Re: BruceD] #2797509
01/01/19 03:50 PM
01/01/19 03:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,737
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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Originally Posted by BruceD
I also like Richard Goode's complete recordings for the middle-of-the-road, no-nonsense approach to the Sonatas. They seem to me to be a benchmark from which others may digress, but I often return to Goode for a solid reading of the works.

Regards,

I find Goode's recordings to "vanilla" for me. IMO, they are correct but uninspiring. I prefer Barenboim but I'm open to finding better recordings.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Favorite complete LvB Sonatas recording? [Re: jon-nyc] #2797520
01/01/19 04:30 PM
01/01/19 04:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,960
Northern VA, U.S.
ClsscLib Offline

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Joined: Mar 2008
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Northern VA, U.S.
Gilels. For me, his is the best combination of technical mastery, expressive playing, and structural vision that I've heard.

I do tend to favor the romantic interpretations, though, so take my recommendation FWIW.


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Re: Favorite complete LvB Sonatas recording? [Re: jon-nyc] #2797527
01/01/19 04:42 PM
01/01/19 04:42 PM
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I have a few complete sets, and several other single CDs and mini-sets, but my favorite complete one is by Maurizio Pollini, which took him a few decades to finish. The first recording was in 1976, the last was in 2013. He recorded the early sonatas last, in fact.

If I remember rightly, his first Beethoven sonata (3-CD) set plunged straight in at the deep end, with the late sonatas, which won several awards, including the Gramophone Award. His Hammerklavier was the first time I heard him in Beethoven, and it set the benchmark for me in Beethoven: totally uncompromising and fearless, rhythmically grounded but always pliant, a hint of brusqueness and impatience (as befits the famous painting by Joseph Karl Stieler: https://goo.gl/images/251F4E ) but also storming the heavens as well as plumbing the depths of despair. I'd just learnt Op.109 and Op.110 at the time with my last teacher, but his recordings of those were the only ones that tempted me to copy parts of his interpretations, though of course, I could never match his complete control over every aspect of his pianism.

His Op.111 was the only one that made me feel that I was being taken on a journey to heaven and then gently back to Earth (despite the fact that I'm an atheist grin) - and the recording was obviously no fluke, because several years later, I saw him play it in concert on two occasions in London's Royal Festival Hall (the first being the culmination of his compete traversal through all the sonatas), and he even surpassed the transcendental pianism he displayed on those CDs - think of those long chains of stratospheric trills, for instance. BTW, Pollini live really is 'live' in every sense - he takes risks with even faster tempi in the fast movements, pushing ahead even more with heightened excitement (often accelerating slightly) towards climaxes etc. A few of the sonatas have been re-recorded by him, taken from live recitals, and they're worth seeking out.

However, one thing that Pollini doesn't really go for is charm, not even in the Op.49 sonatas, which he takes as seriously as he does the others. There is a rigour, and a kind of Beethovenian 'edginess' that runs all the way through his performances, with nothing taken for granted, no 'taking the easy way out', which can be off-putting to those who like their Beethoven with a softer, more cuddly side wink .


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Favorite complete LvB Sonatas recording? [Re: jon-nyc] #2797543
01/01/19 05:38 PM
01/01/19 05:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,109
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline
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I asked that question a couple of years ago, and got a number of helpful suggestions. I ended up with the Pollini set, and very much enjoy it.

CD recordings of Beethoven piano sonatas


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Re: Favorite complete LvB Sonatas recording? [Re: jon-nyc] #2797589
01/01/19 08:13 PM
01/01/19 08:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
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Philadelphia, PA
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jdw Offline
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I really love Brendel's--ran into some of them by accident and had to go buy them. I haven't done a lot of comparison with others, though.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:​
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Sinding, Frühlingsrauschen (Rustle of Spring)
Beethoven, Sonata no. 14 in C# minor (Moonlight)
Re: Favorite complete LvB Sonatas recording? [Re: ClsscLib] #2797629
01/01/19 10:28 PM
01/01/19 10:28 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 237
Bellevue, WA
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benjamink Offline
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Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Gilels. For me, his is the best combination of technical mastery, expressive playing, and structural vision that I've heard.

I do tend to favor the romantic interpretations, though, so take my recommendation FWIW.


I also prefer Gilels for the same reasons.

Re: Favorite complete LvB Sonatas recording? [Re: jon-nyc] #2797634
01/01/19 11:21 PM
01/01/19 11:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,173
Dublin
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johnstaf Offline
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Sokolov. I don't know how complete his Beethoven is, but the sonatas I've heard have been extraordinary. It's like each work is new. If he had a compete set, that would be my favourite.

For a complete set I love the almost austere Backhaus. His Hammerklavier is the best I've ever heard.

Re: Favorite complete LvB Sonatas recording? [Re: jon-nyc] #2797681
01/02/19 05:03 AM
01/02/19 05:03 AM
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Hakki Offline
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I am not sure if he has done the complete set but my favorite is Brendel.

Re: Favorite complete LvB Sonatas recording? [Re: jon-nyc] #2797766
01/02/19 11:06 AM
01/02/19 11:06 AM
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Posts: 227
Taipei, Taiwan
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Kenny Cheng Offline
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Taipei, Taiwan
I have complete 32 LvB sonata CD set of Arrau, Backhaus. And I have most of Giles LvB sonata CDs (he did not have all 32 sonata recorded). Also some Stephen Kovacevich CDs. I bought Barenboim complete sonata DVDs (live recording) that also include one with master class (Lang Lang and Jonathan Biss are on the master class). That's very interesting to watch.

I cannot say which one is my favorite. It depends on the pieces. But those are all great references for me.

Re: Favorite complete LvB Sonatas recording? [Re: jon-nyc] #2798196
01/03/19 06:56 PM
01/03/19 06:56 PM
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NY
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jon-nyc Offline OP
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Thanks for all the input, folks.


If you don't talk to your children about equal temperment, who will?

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