Klemperer is awesome as well, with gorgeous playing from the classic-era Philharmonia, and excellent sound. It's weird because in absolute terms that sonata is probably not as scary as some of the more ostentatious Liszt or Rachmaninov. He frequently disregards what is comfortable for the performer, or what works well on the piano. It’s full of trills and fast arpeggios. Dedicated to the composer's most influential patron, Archduke Rudolph of Austria - no last name needed, Beethoven works through several of his recent fixations. The criticism of Schnabel is also unfair. Finally we’ll wrap this discussion up by looking at his 32nd piano sonata in C minor, the very last one he wrote in 1822. Ambitious, yes. And here's Richter struggling to make sense of the finale, with its ridiculous abundance of trills. There is a true artist and not one promoted by recorded companies. I’m basing it on Henle’s leveling system, which has a scale from 1-9. “I heard a lecture on Beethoven by Daniel Barenboim once, and he said the opening of the ‘Hammerklavier’ sonata should sound difficult. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d9UAVfbp2Y. Next to the Waldstein sonata, Moonlight sonata is definitely one of Beethoven’s most famous piano sonatas. Surprised that everyone seems to have forgotten about Friedrich Gulda. I saw two of Nyiregyhazi’s reitals in San Francisco, including the one at Old First Presbyterian with Liszt’s “Legendes” , and Brahms’s F-minor sonata at the California Club. The preferable Ashkenazy/Decca is the earlier one (sleeve shown above), as it had a remarkable freshness – not to mention being a ‘demonstration’ piano disc for the audiophile! about the 60’s, I would like to add the weird experience of recording concertos without cadenzas, such Tchaikovsky by Zukerman. The only comparable performance I have heard was a chance switching on the radio to Martin Helmchen. Tragically, this is almost the last we hear of Solomon, who suffered a stroke later that year and never played again, though he lived until 1988. It teaches you how much can be communicated by the body and how this influences our listening. For years, it stood unplayed. Pedestrian. on the Mahler “Resurrection” thread started here on March 11. The problem with orchestrations of Beethoven’s sonatas or string quartets is that arrangers keep much too close to the notes, instead of re-imagining the music for the other medium. More recently Igor Levit (2013) is unignorable for sheer flair, courage and chutzpah. I read somewhere that after Serkin played the Hammerklavier in Boston, the instrument emitted a small cloud of smoke. Claudio Arrau’s recording of OP 106 is not a milestone.Far too slow in the last mouvement.The Sixteenth are too slow…Barenboim is identical-awful. The adagio just kind of meanders around for a long time. Welcome to the 45th work in the Slipped Disc/Idagio Beethoven Edition. The opening statement in 1956 by the English pianist Solomon is among the most arresting ever heard and the performance as a whole is an act of storytelling, the pianist holding us spellbound start to finish. He deserves a higher reputation. Nyiregyhazi’s playing, on the OFC recital especially, is indescribably powerful and evocative. for more interesting reading on Hammerklavier performances, please see Jed Distler’s excellent roundup discussion in the Gramophone magazine, January 2020. I agree with NL about the way Solomon’s recording creates a mesmerising narrative which holds the listener’s attention. Tags. The opening is deeply convincing and the slow movement tender and sublime. Beethoven gave a metronome marking of 138 to the opening allegro movement, a deterrent speed that most considered impossible. 106 (Hammerklavier) Beethoven himself described his 29 th sonata “a hard nut to crack”. I can’t think of anyone who can surpass his introspective rendering of the Hammerklavier. This composition kicked off Beethoven’s obsession with writing epic, bold and heroic music (the Eroica symphony came from this period of time). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q4856Rh3zk. They were formidable. And here's Richter struggling to make sense of the finale. (Four reasons and remedies), I Teach 50 Adult Students, and These Are the Books That Never Leave My Desk. This Sonata has been given the title of ‘Hammerklavier’ and almost without exception is felt to be the most difficult piano sonata Beethoven composed. 7’s weird chains of trills so that the right-hand virtuoso runs really explode; and the touching Schubertian spin he brings to the closing number is a delight. Finally, Warner’s Szell Box! I haven’t heard of him in many years. I heard S.Richter 1975 playing 32 sonata. Greg, is Hernandez still alive? I absolutely love this interpretation. Arts & Culture Classical Beethoven Hammerklavier Sonata. Piano Sonata No.20 in G, Op.49 No.2 ("Leichte Sonata") 2. It was a terrific interpretation, more satisfying than Pollini and Sokolov, both of whom I have had the pleasure to hear in the work. In tandem with Andrew Manze's able leadership of the Deutsches Sy... Continue Reading, The works of Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) are rarely played despite the fact that she was the first woman to have an opera, Der Wald, performed at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1903. Whether you're a musician, a newbie, a composer or a listener, welcome. 119, The Bottom Line: What could be better than a big box of Szell? 29 in B flat major, Op. It’s easy to lose yourself in the pianist’s intensity, concentration, and seriousness of purpose. Ambitious, yes. 81a ("Les Adieux"); Bagatelles Op. We’re back with another edition of “The Hardest Piano Music Ever”, which spotlights fiendishly difficult piano music. Please do try to find Craig Sheppard’s Beethoven recordings. 81a is particularly intense and absorbing. That would have been something to hear. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the classicalmusic community. It's a really truly fantastic work. All this is far from the “Hammerklavier”, but these are extraordinary times. What in the end makes it so hard is that this is all pre-Chopin piano technique. 29 B flat major op. It's ferociously athletic. Other panel favourites? Oddly omitted given his Beethoven legacy…. His deafness had pushed his music making from a physical to a more mental exercise and here is where the "Hammerklavier" was born - it was conceptual art from the beginning. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get them delivered straight to your inbox. Never ... Hammerklavier. Stephen Kovacevich’s long-anticipated recording of Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata grasps at the bar upon which the work’s reference versions reside. Always turns up, can fill in for indisposed colleagues at the drop of a hat – but c’mon he’s never given a revalatory performance of anything. One could add 2:30 minutes to the overall time since he leaves out the expositional repeat in the 1st movement. I heard John Lil live 1970 at Tchaikovsky 4th competition -his 1st prize didn’t match V.Krainev talent., Horasio Gutieraz, Cyprien Katsaris ,V.Postnikova and many others. Oddly omitted given his Beethoven legacy…, He’s very workmanlike and dependable. P.S. I’d much appreciate it! m It has taken decades for this tape to be exhumed and you really need to hear it. Gilels’ forthright, steel-trap rhythm and powerful finger articulation really make you sit up and take notice, together with treacherous leaps in the first movement and fugal finale that land smack in the center of the keys. Who said “putting off learning the Hammerklavier doesn’t make it any easier”? A cursory glance through the music shows how insane it is – but let’s have a brief listen to the opening bit of it. However, his musical integrity led him to start the sonata with the left hand jump at the metronome =138, contrary to many (fortunately not all) of the pianists mentioned in the above review. Unusually, it was written in just two movements (most sonatas are 3 or 4). Beethoven is a jerkass :) The speeds he gives are physically impossible, so every single performance has that hanging over it before it even starts. Unfortunately it’s my wife’s favorite,as she knows “Faust” by heart. I suspect the risk of doing it as written in the prescribed tempo in a live concerto is just too high and the benefits are marginal. Speaking of Sheppard, it seems that no commenter on this blog other than myself has ever heard of him. I’m totally in agreement with you on the merits of the Mahler 2nd, a great work! His cycle of the 32 sonatas is absolutely brilliant, in great sound, and totally worth searching out. And let us not forget Friedrich Gulda, from his superb complete set! But Moonlight isn’t as beastly difficult as some of these. The earliest recording to catch my ear is by Louis Kentner (1905-1987), a Hungarian prodigy who settled in England in 1935 and eventually became Yehudi Menuhin’s brother-in-law and recital partner.
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