griffo104

Beethoven Piano sonatas

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Ok, I've noticed a glaring gap in my collection - no Beethoven piano sonatas.

Last week I got hold of a complete piano concerto set (Barenboim/Klemperer on vinyl) and it suddenly highlighted the fact I have no piano sonatas.

So give me your recommendations - any chance of getting a complete set on vinyl would be prefered but if not then I'll slum it and go for cd. A complete set by a single pianist would be appreciated but any particularly excellent performances would also do.

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Brendel is my core interpreter. There is a very expensive complete sonatas edition, but this is an affordable starter:

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//4383742.htm

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Deffo Brendel for me! Some good mid-price stuff on Philips. Also his earlier cycle on Vanguard sometimes crops up at a good price.

Those are, of course, CD recos. Not sure what's around on vinyl...

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Kempff should be widely available on DG vinyl. I would tend to recommend the mono cycle over the stereo one as both the sound and performances are better. BUt I think the stereo set is easier to get hold of in vinyl. Incidentally, Brendel is a great admirer of Kempff.

Emil Gilels on DG vinyl, which is not a complete set as he died before he could complete it, but also many examples around. The late sonatas are particularly good.

Solomon on EMI (mostly mono I think), although again not complete, although I think EMI did collect them into a vinyl box set.

If Barenboim floats your boat,IIRC his earlier set on EMI might be on vinyl as well.

Artur Rubinstein did an outstanding recital of Beethoven sonatas which included the 'Moonlight'. I'll try and find out the details of that tonight. Available on both CD and vinyl.

And of course Schnabel on EMI, although 30smono and I have no idea what the sound quality is like on vinyl.

Ed

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Hope you get sorted, but if not you could consider this

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//5729122.htm

as it's such a silly price and Barenboim has never done anything better (IMHO)

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In terms of complete sonata sets, what about Richard Goode, Alfredo Perl or Wilhelm Backhaus? I've just been listening to Ashkenazay's CD of his favourites which I enjoyed though I noticed he doesn't really seem to be recommended much for Beethoven's piano sonatas.

For recordings of individual sonatas, Pollini seems to be oft recommended but I didn't see his name mentioned above.

Anyone got any thoughts on these?

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I think that must be a record for a thread resurrection, Josh. Seven years, three months! :shock:

As to best versions, Gilels, Kempff, Ashkenazy, Pollini, Brendel, Bishop-Kovachevitch, Barenboim, Solomon (historical), Schnabel (historical) are a good start.

:^

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Annie Fischer (Supraphon CD) and Friedrich Gulda (Amadeo vinyl) are my reference sets - both are excellent in their different ways. I never enjoyed Kempff, and sold that several years back. Otherwise, I've got a lot of individual recordings - Sokolov is astounding, for example, in various radio recordings I've made.

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I'm surprised there have been no votes for Paul Lewis on Harmonia Mundi. OK, his set isn't available on vinyl, but the interpretations are very fine and the recorded sound is exemplary.

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I have a few of Paul Lewis but didn't do a lot for me, found them quite dull. The recent complete set that's impressed me has been this one - but be warned the recording is quite reverberant and maybe he over pedals:

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This one too is very good and sounds quite different from the others for obvious reasons! he uses 3 different Pianos to match the period when Beethoven was writing

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And I've also enjoyed this set a lot especially op 109-111. It was BBC R3 Building a Library joint first choice with Brautigam for Op.111

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Super Wammer

another vote for sokolov

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A good thread to revive. :)

another vote for sokolov

Ah, Sokolov, what a pianist!

I have a DVD of a live performance; mesmerising, superb.

Grigory-Sokolov-DVD-Live-in-Paris-475x681.jpg81q90Ky-KeL._SL1500_.jpg

Any of those recommended by John would be fine! ...

As to best versions, Gilels, Kempff, Ashkenazy, Pollini, Brendel, Bishop-Kovachevitch, Barenboim, Solomon (historical), Schnabel (historical) are a good start.

Richard Lewis? - nah, I agree with Alan (musicbox) for a change, I don't have any time for him either.

I have a strong dislike for Richard Goode, as well.

I'm a big fan of John Lill - can be picked up quite cheap. A very leonine approach, big boned and dramatic. I rather fancy Beethoven would have played them something like this. I enjoy them a lot but I have to say that a little 'magic' is lost somewhere compared to say Kempff or Gilels, still very enjoyable, though. Pollini can be astonishing, but he isn't one for complete sets. get his late sonatas - op 101 onwards :^. Amazing.

I've rather taken a fancy to Brendel recently and have acquired quite a few of his Beethoven recordings - listening as I type to early Brendel playing the Storm sonata ... :^.

Backhaus - my god, yes! A bit like a souped-up John Lill - leonine is the word!

And then, there is the modern piano / fortepiano divide .... a whole new conundrum. Best to have both. :)

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Gilel is okay. Barenboim has great expression but not technique. Richter is probably my favourite.

I really wish Kissin would record more than just the Moonlight - his technique is ferociously awesome, makes pollini sound averageby comparison, and Kissin moves me like no other pianist playing beethoven

if you haven't seen the beethoven sonata masterclass by Barenboim, I'd highly recommend it. Really improved my understanding!

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