One of the most grown-up review sites around

2021
55,946 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 







International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements


3 for 2 Offer



All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets
All Foghorn Reviews


Puertas de Madrid
www.emecdiscos.com
All EMEC reviews


www.emecdiscos.com
All EMEC reviews


All Reference Recordings


Eugène Ysaÿe: Violin Discoveries
review
All Divine Art Reviews


Debussy Complete Preludes

 


 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom
Ph. 020 8418 0616
jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews


All Chandos reviews


All Hyperion reviews


All Foghorn reviews


All Troubadisc reviews


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


All Eloquence reviews


All Lyrita Reviews

 


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali


Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4


French Cello Concertos

 

October


Shostakovich

 

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Sonata No.17 in D minor, Op.31 No.2 Tempest (1802) [23:58]
Piano Sonata No.29 in B flat major, Op.106 Hammerklavier (1816-18) [45:51]
Mindru Katz (piano)
rec. April 1971, live (Tempest) and December 1972, live (Hammerklavier), Jerusalem
CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD169 [69:50]

Fresh from immersion in Minru Katz’s performance of Chopin, I’ve now turned to a brace of Beethoven sonata performances given in the early 1970s in Jerusalem. Many tapes have survived and have been restored to a high standard by Cembal d’amour and some, I suspect, were not in the best condition before that restoration process began. All I can say is that they sound to be in excellent shape.
 
Katz was not one given to flashy generalisations in music. Even when, for a time, he seems to have been type-cast in certain circles for his Khachaturian Concerto, this was just one side of his musical self. I recall Adrian Boult’s astonishment when after a strenuous concerto recording Katz quietly began to play Bach. Not a soul in the orchestra left his seat. Katz was not Janus-faced, he was simply a most flexible stylist. In these Beethoven performances, he reveals again his probing musicianship untainted by the need for the motoric or for the brazen. The Tempest (April 1971) receives a performance that never loses the spine of the argument whilst always acknowledging the work’s bipartite nature. Katz evinces a pellucid quality in the first movement in which the music’s narrative is respected throughout; intensity through anticipation. He doesn’t do so through tempo manipulation. For Katz rhythmic tension is the key, not speed in itself and his tempi are unexceptional in this respect. The measured breadth of the slow movement and the enviable volatility of the finale are functions of Katz’s control. They lead to a decisive crisis, and the applause, though cut short, is well merited.
 
In a sense these are qualities that underline the profound and huge challenges of the Hammerklavier, in a performance given in December 1972, six years before Katz’s untimely death. The sonata is more forwardly recorded than the Tempest which allows detail to register with even greater immediacy. The technical challenges are unremitting but Katz is equal to them and, as importantly, the sense of titanic drama that he generates is allied to a powerful mechanical control. It’s not fanciful to wish that he had been asked to record more of his Beethoven sonatas on disc than was actually the case. At a time, now, when complete cycles are arriving thick and fast from the most unlikely quarters, it would be a valuable function of the restorer’s art to assemble as many of Katz’s sonata traversals as possible.
 
In the meantime we have these two to be going on with and they are distinguished examples of Katz’s powerful but selfless art.
 
Jonathan Woolf

Masterwork Index: Piano sonata 17 ~~  Piano sonata 29