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Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata; Franck, Brahms / Evgeny Kissin


Release Date: 03/10/1998 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 68910   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van BeethovenCésar FranckJohannes Brahms
Performer:  Evgeni Kissin
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

REVIEWS:
Fanfare (7-8/98, p.94) - "...[Kissin's] virtuosity continues to stun, and the Brahms here is conquered with complete ease and fearlessness. For clarity matched with extremes of speed and volume, this account can have few equals....The Beethoven is well-played throughout..."
BBC Music (6/98, p.62) - Performance: 5 (for the Brahms), 4 (for the other performances), Sound: 4 (out of 5) - "This disc is worth the asking price for the Brahms 'Paganini Variations' alone - a quite staggering feat of pianistic viruosity....Kissin is terrific in the whirlwind finale of Beethoven's 'Moonlight' Sonata..."
REVIEWS:
Fanfare (7-8/98, p.94) - "...[Kissin's] virtuosity continues to stun, and the Brahms here is conquered with complete ease and fearlessness. For clarity matched with extremes of speed and volume, this account can have few equals....The Beethoven is well-played throughout..."
BBC Music (6/98, p.62) - Performance: 5 (for the Brahms), 4 (for the other performances), Sound: 4 (out of 5) - "This disc is worth the asking price for the Brahms 'Paganini Variations' alone - a quite staggering feat of pianistic viruosity....Kissin is terrific in the whirlwind finale of Beethoven's 'Moonlight' Sonata..." Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Sonata for Piano no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 no 2 "Moonlight" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Evgeni Kissin (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Südwestfunk Landesstudio, Freiburg 
Length: 15 Minutes 37 Secs. 
2. Prelude, Chorale and Fugue for Piano, M 21 by César Franck
Performer:  Evgeni Kissin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Südwestfunk Landesstudio, Freiburg 
Length: 17 Minutes 57 Secs. 
3. Variations (28) for Piano on a theme by Paganini, Op. 35 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Evgeni Kissin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862-1863; Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Südwestfunk Landesstudio, Freiburg 
Length: 23 Minutes 37 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Adagio sostenuto
Allegretto
Presto agitato
Prélude
Choral
Fugue
Book I: Theme
Book I: Var. I
Book I: Var. II
Book I: Var. III
Book I: Var. IV
Book I: Var. V
Book I: Var. VI
Book I: Var. VII
Book I: Var. VIII
Book I: Var. IX
Book I: Var. X
Book I: Var. XI
Book I: Var. XII
Book I: Var. XIII
Book I: Var. XIV
Book II: Var. I
Book II: Var. II
Book II: Var. III
Book II: Var. IV
Book II: Var. V
Book II: Var. VI
Book II: Var. VII
Book II: Var. VIII
Book II: Var. IX
Book II: Var. X
Book II: Var. XI
Book II: Var. XII
Book II: Var. XIII
Book II: Var. XIV

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Mixed Bag from Kissin December 16, 2011 By T. Drake (South Euclid, OH) See All My Reviews "It goes without saying, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata is one of the most popular works in the piano repertoire, and anyone who plays it comes up against stiff competition. Kissin's performance, while serviceable, is not one for the ages. The opening movement plods along uneventfully at a virtually unchanging dynamic level. The middle movement (really an Intermezzo between the outer movements) is inoffensive but Kissin makes no attempt to bring out the various lines of the piece. He just highlights the melody like his teacher told him to do. The finale fares best. Kissin's fingers have plenty to do, and although he fiddles with the dynamics in parts, as a whole the movement works.

Franck's Prelude, Chorale and Fugue is one of the most unified works written for solo piano. But you wouldn't know it from Kissin's performance. I've never heard the Prelude sound so sectionalized and inorganic. I wonder if Kissin was trying to sound profound by playing it in this manner. (Kissin should listen to Rubinstein Rubinstein Collection, Vol. 68 playing this piece - the elder pianist knew how to highlight a work's structure without being pedantic about it.) The Chorale is given a very plain, flat run-through. Things liven up in the Fugue, which Kissin takes at a rather brisk tempo with some varied dynamics. But there is little sense of the mystery one expects when hearing this piece.

The Brahms Paganini variations is another matter. The spontaneity and verve missing from the Beethoven and Franck are in abundance here. Kissin achieves the dual distinction of dazzling the listener and making the variations cohere. This is one of the best Kissin performances I've ever heard. I'd love to hear him play the Brahms Handel variations.

The sound nicely balances immediacy and ambience."
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