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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op 31 Nos 1-3 / Alfred Brendel


Release Date: 06/15/1993 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 438134   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Alfred Brendel
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A perceptive reading of The Tempest in which the thematic threads which Beethoven scattered across the piece are revealed with great artistry... Compelling performances with both spontaneity and logic.

With the three piano sonatas, Op. 31, Beethoven struck out in a new direction and the present performances of them focus on the paradox between the commonplace and the unusual which distinguish this music. Brendel effectively expresses the unease at the opening of the G major Sonata with its left hand/right hand syncopations, whilst his performance of the exaggerated rhetoric of the same sonata's slow movement is charming and never over-mannered.

The highlight of this issue, however, is the D minor Sonata.
Read more This is a perceptive reading in which the thematic threads which Beethoven scattered across the piece are revealed with great artistry. The ascending arpeggio at the opening of the first movement, which introduces the dramatic contrast of slow and fast motivic gestures, finds a warmer environment in the slow movement with its stately 'drum rolls'. Ultimately resolution is achieved in the descending arpeggio at the end of the moto perpetuo finale.

The last sonata in the set is no less perceptively observed. The second movement, a scherzo in mood rather than form, has all the qualities of a skittish polka. After the menuetto third movement, which forms the lyrical centre of the piece, the tarantella-like finale provides a conclusion which captures its grotesque flavour.

These compelling performances from Brendel, which have great spontaneity and consistent musical logic, also benefit from excellent recorded sound.

-- Gramophone [7/1993]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Sonata for Piano no 16 in G major, Op. 31 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Alfred Brendel (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/1992 
2. Sonata for Piano no 17 in D minor, Op. 31 no 2 "Tempest" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Alfred Brendel (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/1992 
3. Sonata for Piano no 18 in E flat major, Op. 31 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Alfred Brendel (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/1992 

Sound Samples

Piano Sonata No.16 in G, Op.31 No.1: 1. Allegro vivace
Piano Sonata No.16 in G, Op.31 No.1: 2. Adagio grazioso
Piano Sonata No.16 in G, Op.31 No.1: 3. Rondo (Allegretto)
Piano Sonata No.17 in D minor, Op.31 No.2 -"Tempest": 1. Largo - Allegro
Piano Sonata No.17 in D minor, Op.31 No.2 -"Tempest": 2. Adagio
Piano Sonata No.17 in D minor, Op.31 No.2 -"Tempest": 3. Allegretto
Piano Sonata No.18 in E flat, Op.31 No.3 -"The Hunt": 1. Allegro
Piano Sonata No.18 in E flat, Op.31 No.3 -"The Hunt": 2. Scherzo (Allegretto vivace)
Piano Sonata No.18 in E flat, Op.31 No.3 -"The Hunt": 3. Menuetto (Moderato e grazioso)
Piano Sonata No.18 in E flat, Op.31 No.3 -"The Hunt": 4. Presto con fuoco

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