Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Music: (About) 100 Words on Ludwig van Beethoven - the Piano Sonatas, Volume 1: Opp 2 & 7

Ludwig van Beethoven
The Piano Sonatas, Volume 1 , Opp 2 & 7
Andras Schiff
ECM New Series 1940

Andras Schiff waited until he was 50 years old to begin this survey of Beethoven's piano sonatas. He chose to present them all live at the Zurich Tonhalle and release them in eight volumes. Schiff's choice to record the Beethoven sonata corpus after his complete forays into Bach and Mozart and his Haydn recordings is notable. Schiff rightly approaches Beethoven from this vantage rather than retrospectively from Wagner. This way Beethoven retains his Classical zest as is evident on Schiff's treatment of the F minor sonata's allegro and the A minor sonata's allegro vivace. The sonics are durable at both ends and with a solid warm center. Schiff’s playing has never been better.
Track Listing:

CD 1: Sonatas op.2, Dedicated to Joseph Haydn: Sonata no.1 f minor op.2 no.1 (1793-5) – Allegro, Adagio, Menuetto, Allegretto. Prestissimo; Sonata no.2 A major op.2 no.2 (1794-5) - Allegro vivace, Largo appassionato, Scherzo. Allegretto, Rondo. Grazioso.

CD 2: Sonata no.3 C major op.2 no.3 (1794-5) - Allegro con brio, Adagio, Scherzo. Allegro, Allegro assai; Sonata no.4 E-flat major op.7 (1796-7):
Dedicated to Countess Babette von Keglevics - Allegro molto e con brio, Largo, con gran espressione, Allegro, Rondo. Poco allegretto e grazioso.

Andras Schiff: piano.

© Copyright, C. Michael Bailey, 2006