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Beethoven: Piano Works / Leon Mccawley

Release Date: 09/11/2001 
Label:  Black Box   Catalog #: 3003   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Leon McCawley
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"One day I expect Leon McCawley to join the ranks of the acclaimed few we go to hear in complete cycles of the Beethoven sonatas. He is one of the best young classical pianists around‚ and as a long­term prospect (as such players habitually are) it would be nice to think that someone in the recording industry will contract him for sustained support‚ as used to happen in the old days (so‚ probably‚ fat chance). Sample this nicely planned Beethoven recital anywhere for its interesting quality. The 32 Variations in C minor (track 1) are explored with relish and pinpoint characterisation and projected with a long­term thinking that is constantly suggesting worlds beyond the pattern­making of each variation; how welcome to hear Read more the piece done as important Beethoven‚ for a change‚ and not just a finger­warmer. Similarly‚ the two sonatas are presented with exact detailing and weighting of every strand and also a thrust that gets the phrases across bar­lines and sees each movement whole. The pace is often hot‚ in the homecoming finale of Les adieux especially‚ but the allure is musical and comes from Beethoven‚ not from a player’s agitation of the surface. You notice at many points how freshness‚ plasticity of line and sureness of timing derive from McCawley’s understanding; his technique and finish‚ too‚ seem to arise from the same source‚ as if unbidden and simply required by the matters in hand. I would say the slow movement of the Pathétique is a little quick for adagio; I’d have preferred a graver songfulness. Some of the variations in the experimental set Op 34 – each one in a different key‚ dropping down by a third until F major returns for an extended coda – also seem to me too fast‚ and perhaps as a whole they should sound more improvisatory. McCawley treats the Andante favori‚ conceived originally as the slow movement of the Waldstein Sonata‚ quite lightly and straightforwardly but with a play of dynamics – again‚ noticeably – that is not imposed on it but is an essential part of its vitality...And Leon McCawley’s exceptional playing‚ which I recommend‚ in its very good sound; the recording was done at St George’s Brandon Hill in Bristol."

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Works on This Recording

Variations (32) for Piano in C minor on an Original Theme, WoO 80 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Leon McCawley (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
Sonata for Piano no 26 in E flat major, Op. 81a "Les Adieux" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Leon McCawley (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809-1810; Vienna, Austria 
Sonata for Piano no 8 in C minor, Op. 13 "Pathétique" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Leon McCawley (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Variations (6) for Piano in F major on an Original Theme, Op. 34 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Leon McCawley (Piano)
Written: 1802 
Andante for Piano in F major, WoO 57 "Andante Favori" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Leon McCawley (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1803; Vienna, Austria 

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