MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs
 

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World


all Nimbus reviews



all tudor reviews


Follow us on Twitter


Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

 

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Sonata No. 21 in C, “Waldstein” [26:01]
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, “Appassionata” [24:40]
Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90 [13:12]
Sequeira Costa (piano)
rec. 4-9 September, 1998, The Lied Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
CLAUDIO RECORDS CB55722 [63:53]

Sequeira Costa’s Beethoven, at least in this volume, falls in the category “good but not great”. His Waldstein opens with a relaxed first movement that I find very easy to like, and is generally well-paced, but the transition from the slow midsection to the finale is quite literal. That slow section’s final note is much louder than usual, and the finale’s big tune unfolds with none of the hushed beauty that sets apart great recordings like those of Schnabel or Gilels.

The Appassionata is a similar combination of virtues and deficits. The first movement is expansive but atmospheric, a good blend; the slow movement’s variations, though, feel blocky. Costa has a hard time making transitions feel smooth and natural. The finale isn’t as exciting as the best versions, especially in a slightly too tame coda.

After these two epics one of my favorite sonatas, No. 27, does not feel shortchanged. It’s a very good performance, especially the first half, and if there’s any cause to quibble it’s with a slight lack of lyricism in the finale’s main tune.

These recordings were made in Kansas in the 1990s, and are good if not the last word in refinement. The piano is fairly cloudy in the highest frequencies, but this isn’t a big problem. Don’t expect your ears to bleed but don’t expect the state of the art either.

P.S. Odd trivia fact: his full name is José Carlos de Sequeira Costa, so the way he refers to himself professionally is a bit like if nobody ever said that Lloyd Webber’s first name was Andrew.

Brian Reinhart

Masterwork Index: Beethoven sonatas 21 & 23 ~~ Sonata 27

Note - the review copy was from the label of the Vianna Da Motta International Music Foundation (founded by Sequeira Costa) with a catalogue number of VMF-050299. However, the only available copies of the recording are now from Claudio Records.