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Beethoven: The Piano Sonatas Vol 1 / András Schiff


Release Date: 09/27/2005 
Label:  Ecm   Catalog #: 000507102   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  András Schiff
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 48 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Schiff launches a Beethoven cycle and sheds fresh light on this familiar music

"The first thing that struck me over the course of listening was the actual sound of Schiff’s Steinway, whose remarkable timbral differentiation between registers is akin to instruments of Beethoven’s time, or the mellow ‘ping’ characterising many of today’s Bösendorfer grands. It doesn’t hurt, too, that Schiff’s multi-levelled technique and profound stylish perception work hand-in-glove. Given this pianist’s seasoned expertise as a Bach player, his fastidious care with voice-leading and executing turns, trills, and other ornaments should come as no surprise.
What’s more, Schiff’s acute attention to Beethoven’s subito
Read more dynamics and inner voices brings unusual intensity to passages such as the syncopations in the development section of Op 2 No 1’s first movement. For breathtaking variety of articulation, listen to Op 2 No 2’s Largo appassionato, where the staccato bass notes are duly short yet more resonant than usual, or the marked contrast between the Rondo’s songful outer sections and vehement central minor-key episode. In Op 7’s first movement, some may find Schiff’s arpeggiation of the second theme cloying and the broken octaves wanting in energy. The pianist also takes a sedate, less scintillating approach to Op 2 No 3’s concluding Allegro assai than others (I, for one, can’t resist Richter’s bravura – BBC Legends, 2/01). But Schiff proves equally capable of conveying the music’s implicit drama within a few short strokes. Notice how he eases his way into the first movement’s opening measures as if sneaking on stage, timing out the rests a split second longer than they’re notated, then decisively establishing Beethoven’s Allegro con brio directive at the first fortissimo (bar 13). There are, of course, other valid ways to play these works, from Kovacevich’s gaunt drive to Arrau’s full-throated deliberation. Yet Schiff’s absorbing interpretations shed fresh light on thrice-familiar works and are guaranteed to grow on you."

Jed Distler, The GRAMOPHONE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano no 1 in F minor, Op. 2 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1793-1795; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/07/2004 
Venue:  Live  Tonhalle, Zürich, Switzerland 
Length: 21 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Piano no 3 in C major, Op. 2 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1794-1795; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/07/2004 
Venue:  Live  Tonhalle, Zürich, Switzerland 
Length: 27 Minutes 47 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Piano no 4 in E flat major, Op. 7 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796-1797; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/07/2004 
Venue:  Live  Tonhalle, Zürich, Switzerland 
Length: 30 Minutes 47 Secs. 
4.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in A major, Op. 2 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1794-1795; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/07/2004 
Venue:  Live  Tonhalle, Zürich, Switzerland 
Length: 28 Minutes 27 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Disappointing December 16, 2011 By T. Drake (South Euclid, OH) See All My Reviews "Andras Schiff is not known as a great Beethoven interpreter. In interviews, he has stated a discomfort with Beethovenian rhetoric. Listening to this disc, it's not hard to understand why Schiff has largely avoided Beethoven on record. The performances throughout these discs are weighed down by red light/green light, stop and go phrasing, ponderous tempos, and a muddiness which has no justification. Many of the more virtuoso elements are drowned in Schiff's over-zealous gravitas. Shallow, these works are definitely not. But, it's reasonable to wonder if Schiff is trying to interpret these sonatas, written by a virtuoso pianist who was then the hot new ticket in Vienna, in the same light as Op. 111. Wilhelm Kempff in his seventies showed more vigor and wit in the opening movement of Op. 2, No. 3, not to mention Murray Perahia's more sober virtuosity. Either pianist, and many more, give more enlightenment to a young upstart's early displays of mastery." Report Abuse
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