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Estonia Pianos
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Can anyone name the 4 women who have recorded the cycle of Beethoven sonatas? Everyone knows about Annie Fischer, but what about the other 3 who have conquered this Mount Everest?
The Spectator has an interesting article:
https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/09...o-know-about-the-pianist-maria-grinberg/

I believe Angela Hewitt is probably next to complete her cycle on Hyperion.


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Great article, thanks.

I thought a few years ago that Mitsuko Uchida would record all of them, but it never happened.

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That was an interesting article on Maria Grinberg. I'd never heard from her.

Last edited by Ken Knapp; 09/07/19 08:28 AM. Reason: Political commentary removed. NO politics allowed on forum!
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That article -whilst of interest, certainly- wasn't thoroughly researched. Rita Bouboulidi has recorded all 32 sonatas. They're available on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/32-Piano-Sonatas-Van-Beethoven/dp/B0062FMXSE

Years ago -I think I was still at uni- I met a former student of hers. She said that Ms. Bouboulidi was a very kind and charismatic woman, but had an extremely idiosyncratic one-size-fits-all approach to fingering. (This is merely what was reported to me.)


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HJ Lim recorded the entire set at 24yo.

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Sorry I was binge watching something and responded the above before reading the article which in fact mentions Lim. She does have a penchant for velocity. Even her Bach WTC Book 1 live on youtube are like etudes at times. That said there is always something interesting to find among the storm.

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Originally Posted by kbrod1
Sorry I was binge watching something and responded the above before reading the article which in fact mentions Lim. .

I don't own the set, but when it first came out (IIRC around 2012), my local classical station played sonatas from the set on a regular basis- and not only the familiar ones. We heard 10/2, 27/1 and even 78.

I had to admire her sheer technical address, but for every moment of revelation "I never thought of it that way", there would be another moment of impatience "what's the rush?".

A provocative set, but perhaps not a building-one's-library recommendation .


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Danish Anne Øland finished her recording of the set in 2001:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beethoven-Piano-Sonatas-Anne-%C3%98land/dp/B00008WQAH/ref=sr_1_3?qid=1568029396&refinements=p_32%3AAnne+%C3%98land&s=music&sr=1-3

Also, more recently, Mélodie Zhao and Yu Kosuge have recorded all the sonatas.


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Originally Posted by Hakki
Biret

Funny we missed that, should have been obvious, eh? And she throws in the concertos and Liszt transcriptions as a bonus. Such riches, my cup overflows.


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Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by Hakki
Biret

Funny we missed that, should have been obvious, eh? And she throws in the concertos and Liszt transcriptions as a bonus. Such riches, my cup overflows.


The woman has a phenomenal repertoire. If I live for 1000 years, I might start to catch up, but probably not...

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HJ Lim, Melodie Zhao, Marie Kodoma, Annie Fischer, Alicja Kot, Tatiana Nikolayeva, Yaeko Yamane, Anne Øland, Andrea Lucchesini, Idil Beret, Ikuyo Nakamichi, Shoko Sugitani, Daniela Varínska, Irina Mejoueva, Rita Bouboulidi, Yu Kosuge.

I probably missed some. Primary source for this list is the following:

Ionarts: Beethoven Sonatas


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Originally Posted by AaronSF
HJ Lim, Melodie Zhao, Marie Kodoma, Annie Fischer, Alicja Kot, Tatiana Nikolayeva, Yaeko Yamane, Anne Øland, Andrea Lucchesini, Idil Beret, Ikuyo Nakamichi, Shoko Sugitani, Daniela Varínska, Irina Mejoueva, Rita Bouboulidi, Yu Kosuge.

I probably missed some. Primary source for this list is the following:

Ionarts: Beethoven Sonatas

At least one of them is a man grin - he's also one of the seven names I recognize.

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Originally Posted by AaronSF
HJ Lim, Melodie Zhao, Marie Kodoma, Annie Fischer, Alicja Kot, Tatiana Nikolayeva, Yaeko Yamane, Anne Øland, Andrea Lucchesini, Idil Beret, Ikuyo Nakamichi, Shoko Sugitani, Daniela Varínska, Irina Mejoueva, Rita Bouboulidi, Yu Kosuge.

I probably missed some. Primary source for this list is the following:

Ionarts: Beethoven Sonatas

I wonder how many of them acquitted themselves well on Sonata No. 29 in Bâ™­ major, Op. 106 Hammerklavier? Because isn't this the "Everest" among all of these many peaks? (Or maybe it is more like K2?)


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Sorry...I'm not so good at recognizing gender from non-English names. blush grin Most had pictures of the performers on the album covers, so I could be reasonably certain with them! At any rate, the list of women recording complete cycles of the Beethoven sonatas is much longer than I ever imagined.


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

I wonder how many of them acquitted themselves well on Sonata No. 29 in Bâ™­ major, Op. 106 Hammerklavier? Because isn't this the "Everest" among all of these many peaks? (Or maybe it is more like K2?)

Start with Annie Fischer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBlg0RL9a1Q

Then -if you can handle it lol- go for Liszt:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYyrf61P-z8


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Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

I wonder how many of them acquitted themselves well on Sonata No. 29 in Bâ™­ major, Op. 106 Hammerklavier? Because isn't this the "Everest" among all of these many peaks? (Or maybe it is more like K2?)

Start with Annie Fischer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBlg0RL9a1Q

Then -if you can handle it lol- go for Liszt:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYyrf61P-z8



I really enjoyed the Liszt!



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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I wonder how many of them acquitted themselves well on Sonata No. 29 in Bâ™­ major, Op. 106 Hammerklavier? Because isn't this the "Everest" among all of these many peaks? (Or maybe it is more like K2?)


Heavy editing is standard practice in the recording world. grin

I like many of Valentina Listisa's one-take videos, which reminds me... It's several years since she said she wanted to record all the Beethoven sonatas. I really like her Hammerklavier. It reminds me of Backhaus (whom she admires). He didn't play the Hammerklavier for his last set.

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PS my comment about editing isn't aimed at the women who play the piano. I have a "live" recording of Richter where the tuning changes throughout a single work. Some bad sounding notes miraculously heal themselves.

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People may know this story, but worth retelling. Annie Fischer had no intention of recording the Beethoven sonatas, which she performed in their entirety on several occasions in Budapest in 1977. But the Minister of Culture, György Aczél, who perhaps surprisingly for an apparatchik in the Communist Party was a surprisingly cultured man and a huge Annie Fischer fan, ordered her (which Communist Party apparatchiks had the power to do) to record them for posterity. She was in no position to refuse and unwillingly complied. But while Hungaroton owned the recordings, under Hungarian law, Annie Fischer had the right to refuse their publication. And so they sat in a vault for 20 years, with Annie Fischer lobbying to have them destroyed and the owners turning a deaf ear! When she died in 1995, her sister Magda finally gave permission for Hungaroton to publish them which is why this set was ultimately released.

I have had the good fortune of hearing some pirate recordings (which have not reached the internet) of the live 1977 Beethoven sonata cycles, and the performances were even more revelatory than the CDs. An artist who was at her best playing live...

I suspect a few people on this forum will know next to nothing about Annie Fischer. Just bear in mind that Richter, Pollini, Schiff, Vásáry, Clifford Curzon, Kocsis and Marta Argerich, and conductors Otto Klemperer and Sir Georg Solti, all regarded her as as a musical goddess. As for the Hammerklavier, she played it at the Royal Festival Hall in 1992 (at the age of 77) and at least one critic felt it was such a definitive interpretation than he never wanted to hear if performed by anyone else again.

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