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Expanded Edition - Rudolf Serkin Plays Beethoven


Release Date: 09/30/2003 
Label:  Sony Classical Masterworks Catalog #: 90395   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Rudolf Serkin
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Selections originally released on CBS MYK 37219 [Pathétique, Moonlight, and Appassionata] - Rudolf Serkin.

Serkin’s early 1960s accounts of the most popular “name” sonatas, on a CBS “Great Performances” mid-price CD, are compellingly direct and offer excellent value. The playing is deliberate, but hardly theatrical: as always, the pianist emphasizes the virtues of literalism. The recordings are closely miked and sonorous, and convey good piano tone along with every breath, sigh, groan, and vocalization Serkin produces. The Adagio of the Pathétique is especially lovely. Wilhelm Kempff. Deutsche Grammophon 415 834 -2 [Pathétique and Moonlight, with Sonatas in D and F sharp, Opp. 28 and 78]

Read more If Serkin was the realist, Kempff was the idealist of his generation. A wonderfully resourceful pianist, he brought a marvelous sense of theater to these 1965 accounts of the “name” sonatas. The opening chord of the Pathétique is much harder than Serkin’s, and in general Kempff is willing to use a wider range of dynamics and make stronger accents, willing as well to be more elegant and lyrical. The Adagio of the Pathétique is brisk but beautifully ornamented, very cantabile. Where Serkin conveys an almost funereal quality in the first movement of the Moonlight, Kempff suggests something more lyrical, more veiled and atmospheric. His reading of that sonata’s Presto finale is also less frenetic than Serkin’s, making more of the sound but conveying less of the rush. Kempff’s is a gentleman’s Beethoven, a philosopher’s Beethoven, the Beethoven of a man of feeling. His integral recording of all 32 sonatas, on nine mid-price CDs, could also be recommended were it not for the extreme sonic glare from which the late works, recorded first, seem to suffer. – Ted Libbey, author of The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection, reviewing a previous issue of this album. 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:  Rudolf Serkin (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Sonata for Piano no 8 in C minor, Op. 13 "Pathétique" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Rudolf Serkin (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Sonata for Piano no 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Rudolf Serkin (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804-1805; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Sonata for Piano no 26 in E flat major, Op. 81a "Les Adieux" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Rudolf Serkin (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809-1810; Vienna, Austria 

Sound Samples

I. Adagio sostenuto
II. Allegretto
III. Presto agitato
I. Grave - Allegro di molto e con brio
II. Adagio cantabile
III. Rondo. Allegro
I. Allegro assai
II. Andante con moto
III. Allegro ma non troppo; Presto
I. Les Adieux. Adagio - Allegro
II. L'absence. Andante espressivo
III. Le retour. Vivacissimamente

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Beethoven done well, is to be treasured. Serkin i January 4, 2014 By M. Vega (Mounds View, MN) See All My Reviews "Rudolf Serkin on piano doing Beethoven is masterful. Sonatas: No.2 "Moonlight", No.8 "Pathetique" and No. 23 "Appassionata" are my favorites." Report Abuse
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