A New York Times 25 Best Classical Track Selection for 2019
Igor Levit’s work on the 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas has been the most important endeavour of the past 15 years of his life. His new studio recording of the complete sonata cycle represents the recorded testament to almost half his life spent in the study and performance of these sonatas. The release of this momentous 9-album cycle is one of the most eagerly awaited recordings for the 250-year Beethoven anniversary.
No other composer has had such an important influence on Igor Levit’s life as that of Ludwig van Beethoven. He admits that this composer’s music is around him practicallyRead more every day and in almost everything he does. The profound impact of Beethoven’s music - since his first emotional point-of-no-return with the Missa solemnis at age 13, followed by his first dedicated work on Sonata op. 2/2–has subsequently shaped Levit’s approach to almost all music, whether he is playing Liszt, Shostakovich or Rzewski.
What you will get is a new sense of the sheer physicality of the music. What’s fascinating about Levit’s whole cycle is the crazy tempos at which he takes the first Allegros and Prestos. Where savagery is required, Levit provides it in spades. Not a definitive cycle, then, but with this music no cycle could ever be that; it’s enough that this one should delight, provoke, and intrigue in equal measure.
– BBC Music Magazine
As you’d predict from an artist who combines acute intelligence and technical panache, it’s utterly absorbing. It’s also a cycle that doesn’t have favourites – Levit feels equally committed to every single piece. Above all there’s that sense of being completely at one with Beethoven himself. And that, in the end, is what makes this such a magnificent achievement.
He is such a probing and sensitive artist that it’s easy to take for granted how technically brilliant his playing is as in his bracing account of the first movement of this early sonata.
Coming in FebruaryJanuary 22, 2020By N. Wight (New York, NY)See All My Reviews"Wait for the live performances on CD and LP of all the Beethoven Sonatas performed by Konstantin Lifschitz."Report Abuse
ExcellentOctober 25, 2019By Robert C. (Tucson, AZ)See All My Reviews"I remember Giesiking recordings on 78rpm at my grandfather's house. As a piano devotee, I have always been attracted to Beethoven and have my fair share of complete sonatas. This is such an incredible body of work that, if a musician is willing to commit to a complete recording, it says something quite profound about them. Everyone has their favorite. It doesn't matter. If it is an artist of supreme talent and sublime consciousness, it will be an experience worth listening to and, possibly, owning. Levit fits the bill. I find his previous recordings very attractive. This is no exception. Have not heard it all but I'm not hesitant in recommending it. There is no need to itemize the particulars of his brilliance and profundity. You will find your favorites. . .and am looking forward to experiencing what lies ahead."Report Abuse