Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

alternatively
Crotchet

 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
CD 1 [76:54]
Piano Sonata in C minor Op. 13, “Grande Sonate Pathétique” (1798-99) [18:35]
Piano Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 Sonata quasi una Fantasia, “Moonlight: (1801) [15:49]
Piano Sonata in D major, Op. 28, “Pastorale” (1801) [22:44]
Piano Sonata in A flat major, Op. 110 (1821) [19:30]
CD 2 [73:58]
Piano Sonata in C major, Op. 53 “Waldstein” (1803-04) [23:21]
Piano Sonata in F minor, Op. 57, “Appassionata” (1804-05) [24:16]
Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 111 (1821-22) [26:11]
CD 3 [79:12]
Piano Sonata in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2 “The Tempest” (1801-02) [22:16]
Piano Sonata in E flat major, Op. 81a, “Das Lebwohl” (“Les Adieux”) (1809-10) [15:38]
Piano Sonata in B flat major, Op. 106. “Für das Hammerklavier” (1817-18) [41:10]
Stephen Kovacevich (piano)
rec. Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall and No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (Opp. 31/2, 53, 110) 1992 (Opp. 53, 110); 1994 (Op.31/2); 1997 (Op.13); 1998 (Op.28); 1999 (Op.27/2, 57); 2001 (Op.106); 2002 (Op.81a); 2003 (Op.111)
EMI CLASSICS 2153142 [3 CDs: 76:54 + 73:58 + 79:12]

 

Experience Classicsonline


As is well known Kovacevich’s recording of the cycle of Beethoven’s piano sonatas was a protracted affair. This box forms a core selection and sports recordings dates over a decade apart, the earliest dating from 1992 and the most recent from 2003.
 

Critically speaking this cycle came in for an uneven reception. Listening to these particular sonatas again confirms one in the belief that Kovacevich veers from tranluscence and tonal beauty to a powerful straining at the leash that more than once causes unsettling things to happen. Whatever else may be true these are performances that are never dull.  

The Moonlight is a emblematic case study. It opens very slowly though not in a way that seems either especially nuanced or indeed very expressive. But Kovacevich, after negotiating the Allegretto with sang froid, then reveals his schema for the work, which is a sting in the tail – a daemonically driving, helter skelter finale unleashed with ferocious force. 

When we reach the Appassionata we encounter a less overtly fearsome presence but one that remains palpably insistent, chordally tenacious, and a performance that gives us a broadly externalised texture. It’s immensely impressive but rather one-sided. The Hammerklavier opens a touch under the mark but is architecturally cogent. The scherzo can be a little heavy, whilst the slow movement is a rather aloof, perhaps, tonally refined but not overtly expressive. I must admit I find Les Adieux far preferable, indeed one of the very best played and interpreted of the examples in this three CD set. It’s a powerful traversal but along with the clarity and directness we find an expressive depth and a taut rhythmic profile that is not the product of Kovacevich’s sometimes too powerful attacks.

The sense of unceasing attack can be felt in the opening movement of the Waldstein sonata – some indeed may find it too unyielding. I think the same may be the case with Op.111 which shares something of this gargantuan quality and in addition to which, the Arietta never quite takes flight. Op.110 however does attain a cathartic power that isn’t predicated merely on tensile strength.

The recordings are necessarily variable given the wide span of time and the two locations involved. As a core selection of Kovacevich’s Beethoven this set reveals exceptional pianism though the results are somewhat more ambivalent.

Jonathan Woolf 

 

 

 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.