Your thoughts on Kuerti's Beethoven PS's

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12tone
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Your thoughts on Kuerti's Beethoven PS's

Post by 12tone » Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:57 pm

I was in the cd store today and among their classical box sets was a box of the Beethoven PS's -- complete -- by Anton Kuerti (Analekta). It sold for around $100. I actually saw this set in another store a long time ago (I eventually picked up a Kempff stereo and thought that was what I saw) so seeing it again was a treat.

I didn't buy it though; I had a bunch of other buys. Another 100 bucks would have been too much!

QUESTION: Good box or bad box? Would you people recommend it or should I just leave it alone?

I already have the Kempff stereo box, Kovacevich box and the Ashkenazy box on Decca.

Barry
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Post by Barry » Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:13 pm

I haven't heard the Kuerti set. But I can tell you that Cliftwood, one of our former (or is it still ocassional) posters, who happened to study piano at Curtis, is a huge fan of Kuerti. I've seen him recommend his Beethoven set several times in the past.
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Lance
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Post by Lance » Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:09 pm

I am a great fan of Mr. Kuerti as well. I have a single CBC CD combining the Moonlight and Hammerklavier sonatas - and wished I had more, i.e., his complete set. Perhaps one more complete set of Beethoven sonatas I don't "need." But I so enjoyed Kuerti's Beethoven concerti on CBC with the Toronto SO under Andrew Davis that it seemed logical to hear all of Kuerti's thoughts on the sonatas. There is also a box set with the Schubert sonatas (not sure if it's all of them) that is on my list of things to acquire sooner or later.

Regarding Wilhelm Kempff, these was an early DGG set of his mono performances, and there was an "almost" complete set of Kempff's first traversal of most of the 32 that came out on CD on the now defunct Dante label.

No doubt you have the Artur Schnabel, maybe even the Richard Goode, and recently Universal issued the early Friedrich Gulda set in an 11-CD box of most of his early Beethoven recordings. But Maria Grinberg also recorded a complete set for Melodiya as did Tatiana Nikolayeva, both of which I have enjoyed a great deal. There are many complete 32s on other labels as well. Where do we draw the line?
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12tone
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Post by 12tone » Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:11 pm

Lance wrote: No doubt you have the Artur Schnabel, maybe even the Richard Goode, and recently Universal issued the early Friedrich Gulda set in an 11-CD box of most of his early Beethoven recordings. But Maria Grinberg also recorded a complete set for Melodiya as did Tatiana Nikolayeva, both of which I have enjoyed a great deal. There are many complete 32s on other labels as well. Where do we draw the line?
No doubt I have the Schnabel or Goode? Never said I had them...see first post :D

Thanks for your post though :D

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Just some questions:

- What's DGG mean?

- Is the Schnabel complete mono box of Beet PS's still available? What's it like?

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Post by Lance » Fri Aug 05, 2005 1:24 am

12tone wrote:
Lance wrote: No doubt you have the Artur Schnabel, maybe even the Richard Goode, and recently Universal issued the early Friedrich Gulda set in an 11-CD box of most of his early Beethoven recordings. But Maria Grinberg also recorded a complete set for Melodiya as did Tatiana Nikolayeva, both of which I have enjoyed a great deal. There are many complete 32s on other labels as well. Where do we draw the line?
No doubt I have the Schnabel or Goode? Never said I had them...see first post :D

Thanks for your post though :D

-------------


Just some questions:

- What's DGG mean?

- Is the Schnabel complete mono box of Beet PS's still available? What's it like?
Well, you apparently have quite an appreciation for the 32 Beethoven sonatas. Artur Schnabel was a great pianist from the past who died in 1951. He also edited an edition of Beethoven's 32. I think it is generally safe to assume that most people who play the 32 and want the so-called most "authoratative" recordings turn to Mr. Schnabel's. They were recorded in the days of electrical 78-rpm discs (1930s), and state-of-the-art sound you will not get, but the recordings have been wonderfully remastered and I think are enormously worthwhile to own. EMI has reissued a boxed set that costs around $80-$90. Naxos has also reissued them in glorious remastered sound. The discs are available singly for anywhere between $6-$8/American. What's it like? Well - those interpretations have endured in the catalogue since they were first recorded. They are quite magnificent in my view. But it is also important to realize they are not the final, last word by any means. Solomon, Gieseking and many others are no slouches.

Yes, you did comment on what you had recording-wise, but I assumed you had the highly lauded Schnabel; I read it too fast and it didn't sink in. You know what happens when you "assume!"

DGG is the acronym for the great German recording company known as Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft, which is part of the Universal Music Group, embracing British Decca and Philips, American Decca, Mercury Records, and many others.

May I ask how long you have collected recordings? You are obviously enjoying it.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Pete
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Post by Pete » Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:39 am

I haven't heard Kuerti's Beethoven (though I've read his essays on the sonatas), but here are a few sets which I can recommend:

Schnabel (Lance speaks the truth)
A. Fischer (quite expensive)
Franck (quite cheap)
Gulda
Solomon (incomplete)
Gieseking (incomplete)
Kempff (mono)
Backhaus (stereo is easier to find, I haven't heard the mono yet)
Gilels (incomplete)
Serkin (incomplete)

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