Beethoven: Piano Sonatas No 17, 18, 21 & 22 / Solomon
Ludwig van Beethoven
Number of Discs:
1 Hours 20 Mins.
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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Solomon was working his way through a Beethoven Sonata cycle for EMI when he suffered the stroke in 1956 that ended his career. The 18 sonatas he recorded were reissued as an LP boxed set in the 1970s, and on CD in Japan. Testament's new remasterings significantly improve upon previous issues. Solomon's articulation gains in clarity and definition, with added tonal color, sharper accents, and niceties of pedaling to match. What's more, the sonic improvement beckons me to upgrade certain long-held opinions. I used to think of Solomon's readings of the Op. 31 Nos. 2 and 3 sonatas as cool and uninvolved, yet I now hear the subtle dynamic surges behind the pianist's poised classicism. Op. 54's toccata-like second movement sings with fluid wit
set up by the pianist's aptly conversational tone in the opening minuet. Solomon's magnificent Waldstein crackles with unassailable assurance and technical perfection. My only quibble concerns the pianist's reluctance to take the finale's long pedal markings at face value, as did Schnabel and Gieseking. Yet not even they equal Solomon's prismatic technique here. If you're looking to sample Solomon's Beethoven, this disc makes an ideal starting point.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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