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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op 14 & 22 / Stephen Kovacevich


Release Date: 05/18/2007 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 56586   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

There are performances that take you through a familiar work as though you were hearing it for the first time. Stephen Kovacevich’s new version of Beethoven’s Pathetique is one of those. It’s hard to analyse what it is that makes it so fresh. On the face of it, nothing about his interpretation is strikingly or provocatively ‘new’ – no unusual tempos or articulation of phrases. But there’s so much life, evident in crisp, muscular rhythms, crescendos that draw you forward in your seat, and tender, confidential lyricism. The recording helps, bringing out the power and brilliance, without losing sense of the subtlety of the playing in more intimate passages.

There are similar qualities in the other three sonatas – though not
Read more always so consistently. Energy and humour in the Andante variations and Scherzo finale of Op. 14 No. 2 seemed to me just right; but the opening Allegro could perhaps be a little lighter and more intimate. The Rondo finale of Op. 22 starts a little soberly – but wit and the lighter touch aren’t absent for long. The rest of the performance (especially the first two movements) makes one wonder why this sonata so rarely turns up in concert programmes. Perhaps someone should give it a title. There were no causes for critical doubt in Op. 14 No. 1, only pleasure, and renewed wonder at Beethoven’s brilliance and originality. That’s typical of Kovacevich’s playing. He’s no pianistic egoist, using Beethoven’s ideas as a medium to demonstrate his own genius. He wants you to love and appreciate the music as he does. When combined with such refinement of technique, energy, sense of colour and imagination, it’s an attitude I find particularly compelling.

-- Stephen Johnson, Gramophone [9/1998]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano no 8 in C minor, Op. 13 "Pathétique" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/1997 
Venue:  Air Studios, Lyndhurst Road, London 
Length: 18 Minutes 32 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Piano no 9 in E major, Op. 14 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/1997 
Venue:  Air Studios, Lyndhurst Road, London 
Length: 12 Minutes 52 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Piano no 10 in G major, Op. 14 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1799; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/1997 
Venue:  Air Studios, Lyndhurst Road, London 
Length: 14 Minutes 25 Secs. 
4.
Sonata for Piano no 11 in B flat major, Op. 22 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/1997 
Venue:  Air Studios, Lyndhurst Road, London 
Length: 23 Minutes 54 Secs. 

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