Notes and Editorial Reviews
The playing is, by turns, pellucid, dancing, and jagged, full of fantasy and energy - at times we seem to be listening to the deeply imaginative late Beethoven.
My colleague JOC wrote eloquently about this record when it first appeared. Beethoven sees through Schubert's eyes, the visionary dreamer very much to the fore, she suggested, before going on to commend the vitality and spontaneity of much of the playing, its improvisatory exuberance. Her judgement that this is playing which yields up more and more at each fresh hearing is one which time has validated. True, there is some occasional, distracting waywardness in the finales of Opp. 8 and .53; but such reservations are trifling alongside the supple energy of other
quick movements and the hypnotic beauty of the playing of the three slow movements. At times we seem to be listening to the deeply imaginative 'late' Beethoven, as JOC perceptively remarked. I am especially struck by the sense of stillness and distance at the start of the A flat minor episode in the slow movement of the Pathetigue Sonata, a stilly murmur whispering thoughts of otherwordly beauty. The Grave introduction of the same sonata is proudly, generously drawn; the first movement of the Moonlight, in which the accompanying figurations are played with unusual skill and sensibility, recalls Gieseking in his prime. Lupu's account of the Waldstein is not of a piece as Gilels's is (DG 2531 143, 11/72) or Schnabel's (HMV mono RLS755, 4/81). It is, by turns, pellucid, dancing, and jagged, full of fantasy and energy. The rippling accompaniment at the start of the finale is brushed in with great freedom, like water dappled and roughened by the wind under a pale morning sun. There are slowings and eddyings later but also, at times, a stunning directness, Lupu here (as in the finale of the Moonlight) driving the music forward with marvellous elan, the stormy triplet episode and the long prestissimo coda richly apparelled. JOC thought the recording to be as limpid and sonorous as the playing itself. That was in 1973. It hasn't dated.
-- Gramophone [11/1981, reviewing an LP reissue of this recording]
Works on This Recording
Be the first to review this title