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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas - Moonlight, Etc / Kovacevich


Release Date: 07/03/2001 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 57131   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Beethovenian credentials of a man who launched his career with the Diabelli Variations have never been in doubt. Kovacevich has excelled in the music of many composers but his affinity with Beethoven has always been in a special category all its own. Even in the more lightweight sonatas, there is an intense concentration which leaves no aspect of the music untouched. Texturally crystal clear, yet never ‘clinical’, deeply considered yet spontaneous in effect, the playing has an extraordinary immediacy –to the point where one often loses consciousness of the performer and comes face to face with the composer himself. One of his many strengths is his capacity to illuminate aspects of the music without recourse to any form of didactic Read more exaggeration. He trusts his listeners, and he trusts Beethoven – unlike Glenn Gould, who trusted neither. In fact, card-carrying Gouldians may even find him rather dull. Also unlike Gould, Kovacevich is not obsessed with being original. That he leaves to Beethoven. The sources of apparent spontaneity are many and mysterious, but Kovacevich seems to have mastered them to a fare-thee-well. One is a mastery of rhythm. On the temporal side he plays pretty well exactly what Beethoven writes. On the kinetic side, he boxes the compass, using a very wide dynamic range, chock-a-block with extreme contrasts of loud and soft, and releasing again and again the ‘hidden’ rhythms which give the music much of its incomparable thrust and power. Like all the greatest performances, these make a mockery of ‘comparative’ listening and spike the guns of all critical pigeon-holers.
Performance: 5 (Out of 5) Sound: 5 (Out of 5)

-- Jeremy Siepmann, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1. Sonata for Piano no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 no 2 "Moonlight" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1999 
Venue:  Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London 
Length: 15 Minutes 39 Secs. 
2. Sonata for Piano no 12 in A flat major, Op. 26 "Funeral March" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800-1801; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1999 
Venue:  Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London 
Length: 21 Minutes 38 Secs. 
3. Sonata for Piano no 13 in E flat major, Op. 27 no 1 "Quasi una fantasia" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800-1801; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1999 
Venue:  Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London 
Length: 14 Minutes 24 Secs. 
4. Sonata for Piano no 19 in G minor, Op. 49 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1999 
Venue:  Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 12 Secs. 
5. Sonata for Piano no 20 in G major, Op. 49 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1999 
Venue:  Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 20 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat major Op. 26: Andante con variazoni
Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat major Op. 26: Variation I -
Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat major Op. 26: Variation II -
Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat major Op. 26: Variation III -
Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat major Op. 26: Variation IV -
Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat major Op. 26: Variation V
Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat major Op. 26: Scherzo (Allegro molto)
Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat major Op. 26: Marcia funèbre sulla morte d'un Eroe - Maestoso andante
Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat major Op. 26: Allegro
Piano Sonata No. 13 in E flat major Op. 27 No. 1: I. Andante - Allegro - Tempo I
Piano Sonata No. 13 in E flat major Op. 27 No. 1: II. Allegro molto e vivace
Piano Sonata No. 13 in E flat major Op. 27 No. 1: III. Adagio con espressione
Piano Sonata No. 13 in E flat major Op. 27 No. 1: IV. Allegro vivace
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor Op. 27 No. 2 "Moonlight": Adagio sostenuto
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor Op. 27 No. 2 "Moonlight": Allegretto
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor Op. 27 No. 2 "Moonlight": Presto agitato
Piano Sonata No.19 in G minor Op. 49 No. 1: I. Andante
Piano Sonata No.19 in G minor Op. 49 No. 1: II. Rondo (Allegro)
Piano Sonata No.20 in G major Op. 49 No. 2: I. Allegro, ma non troppo
Piano Sonata No.20 in G major Op. 49 No. 2: II. Tempo di Menuetto

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