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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 27-32 / Solomon


Release Date: 07/20/1993 
Label:  Emi Classics Références Catalog #: 64708   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Solomon
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 2 Hours 21 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Solomon's 1952 recording of the Hammerklavier Sonata is one of the great recordings of the century.

Solomon's 1952 recording of the Hammerklavier Sonata is one of the great recordings of the century. Truth to tell, few performances that have been recorded since have either matched it or significantly improved upon it. (Pollini's 1977 DO recording, perhaps-12/86--or a live Philips 1983 Brendel recording-7/86, nla.) At the heart of Solomon's performance there is as calm and searching an account of the slow movement as you are likely to hear this side of the Great Divide. And the outer movements are also wonderfully well done. Music that is so easy to muddle and arrest is here fierily played; Solomon at his lucid,
Read more quick-witted best. The CD transfer is astonishing. Play it after any of the various LP versions of yesteryear and it is as if a door has been flung open. It is as though previously we have merely been eavesdropping on the performance; now, 40 years on, we are finally in the presence of the thing itself. I found it all profoundly moving. What's more, by an agreeable piece of planning, EMI have retained the juxtaposition of the 9/69 LP reissue (nla): Solomon's glorious account of the A major Sonata, Op. 101 as the Hammerklavier's proud harbinger.

We must be grateful that Solomon had completed his recording of these six late sonatas before his career was abruptly ended by a stroke in the latter part of 1956. The Sonatas, Op. 90 and Op. 110 were recorded in August 1956. The warning signs were, in retrospect, already there as Bryan Crimp's note interestingly reveals. The sessions were a nightmare for the pianist, whose hitherto infallible touch was being all too obviously undermined. One lapse in the finale of Op. 110 was never completely tidied, hence the delay in issuing the recording. (It finally appeared in 1962 on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday.) Now, how bitter the irony seems; Solomon on the verge of a catastrophic illness recording a sonata Beethoven himself had written as a song of thanksgiving for the resolution of tribulations past. Yet, listening to these edited tapes one would hardly know anything was amiss. There is the odd fumble in the Scherzo of Op. 110; but, if anything, the playing has even greater resolve, both in Op. 110 and in a songful (but never sentimental) account of Op. 90.

The recordings of Opp. 109 and 111 date from 1951. Sonata, Op. 109 is very fine; Op. 111 is—by Solomon's standards—a shade wooden in places, both as a performance and as a recording. Still, this is a wonderful set, very much a collectors' item.

-- Gramophone [7/1993]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano no 28 in A major, Op. 101 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Solomon (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/20/1954 
Venue:  Studio no 3, Abbey Road, London 
Length: 18 Minutes 47 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Piano no 29 in B flat major, Op. 106 "Hammerklavier" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Solomon (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1817-1818; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1952 
Venue:  Studio no 3, Abbey Road, London 
Length: 47 Minutes 41 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Piano no 27 in E minor, Op. 90 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Solomon (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1814; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/21/1956 
Venue:  Studio no 3, Abbey Road, London 
Length: 13 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording, and is also available on EMI Classics 67735. 
4.
Sonata for Piano no 30 in E major, Op. 109 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Solomon (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1820; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/19/1951 
Venue:  Studio no 3, Abbey Road, London 
Length: 18 Minutes 57 Secs. 
5.
Sonata for Piano no 31 in A flat major, Op. 110 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Solomon (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1821-1822; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/20/1956 
Venue:  Studio no 3, Abbey Road, London 
Length: 19 Minutes 53 Secs. 
6.
Sonata for Piano no 32 in C minor, Op. 111 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Solomon (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1821-1822; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/1951 
Venue:  Studio no 3, Abbey Road, London 
Length: 26 Minutes 37 Secs. 

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