Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 16916
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by Lance » Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:14 am

Garrett's post on a review of pianist Steven Osborne's new Beethoven sonata recording on Hyperion has prompted this post.

From the time I was a teenager, I was drawn to a recording issued on an RCA Victor LP [LM-1222] of the Solomon [Cutner] (1902-1988) recording taken from 78s. All these years later, it has never left my mind as being one of the finest recordings of the sonata. Solomon recorded the Sonata No. 32 on two occasions, 1948 and 1951 according to Michael H. Gray's important discography. For me, the first recording is the more emotionally-performed and musically satisfying work, while both are excellent. HMV's recording process between the 1930s and about 1952 seemed to capture piano sound at its best in the days of 78s. This also applied to recordings made by Schnabel and Edwin Fischer among others on the HMV/British Columbia labels. The instruments were not voiced to be "glassy," had a wonderful sustaining sound and Solomon's interpretation and tone qualities were captured superbly well.

Yes, the Schnabel 1930s recordings of the complete Beethoven sonatas has been, more-or-less, the Bible for these works, and many more complete editions have come forward from that time. But in selecting individual sonatas, No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111 has had, as most of the sonatas have, enormous numbers of recordings. And tastes will certainly differ vastly among music lovers and other pianists on those interpretations. Hearing and understanding the music remains in the ears of those listening.

Many of Solomon's recordings were reissued on the outstanding Testament label. Both of his recordings of Sonata No. 32 were issued on Testament [1188 and 1230]. Unfortunately, after a quick look around, most of his solo recordings have been withdrawn. They are "lessons" on the art of interpretation that pianists could well learn from. It is also unfortunate among today's pianists that the name "Solomon" is not even known, as is true for many of the great pianists of the past with some exceptions (Horowitz, Rubinstein, etc.).

The other recording that, for me, alternates with Solomon's is that by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli [Decca CD 417 772, or his complete Universal (DGG) recordings 447 642, 11 CDs]. Michaelangeli interprets the work very much in the manner of Solomon and for me, is one of Michelangeli's finest recordings.

Just some thoughts on an individual work. I'm sure everyone has a favourite of No. 32 and I would enjoy hearing your comments.
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 &*$#@+#]

Image

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26043
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 12:59 pm

Many people, including myself and several musicians I highly respect (to name one, the person known to Garrett and me), think that the Opus 111 is the greatest piano sonata ever written, having competition only from Beethoven's other late-period sonatas. As Lance knows, I am not one of our recording jocks, but years ago in Maryland I caught a radio performance by the winner of a state high school competition who played the 111 as though he had composed it, leaving me flat on the floor. Here is a performance by a fellow Princetonian only one year removed from myself.


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

maestrob
Posts: 4847
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by maestrob » Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:25 pm

The Op. 111 is a masterpiece that has stayed with me since my late teens (Charles Rosen), and I have three favorite stereo performances to add to the discussion: Alfred Brendel on Philips, Russell Sherman and Claudio Arrau. Each has his own individual statement to make (Brendel is the most cerebral), while Sherman is the only pianist I know who imparts such a depth of meaning to each note. All are great interpretations and worthy of your attention.

Holden Fourth
Posts: 1363
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:47 am

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by Holden Fourth » Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:00 pm

I'm with Maestrob in nominating Arrau. The recording I'm referring to is not on CD but on a DVD in the EMI Classic Archive series. It was filmed in London on June 8th 1963. I've heard another Arrau performance on CD that is similar but not as good as this one.

Lance, is the Solomon performance part of the incomplete set that Testament produced or is it a one off recorded separately? I have the former but in its EMI incarnation with the rest of the late sonatas.

John F
Posts: 18769
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by John F » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:12 pm

Like Lance, I think Solomon's recording is one of the great ones. All of Solomon's recordings were made one or two sonatas at a time, because that's how the business was at the time; this was one of his earlier Beethoven sonatas on records. Michelangeli's Decca/London recording is also first-rate, especially in the finale where his coloring of the individual variations is extraordinary. But to these I'd add the version which, for me, has the most powerful statement of the first movement: Egon Petri's Columbia recording of the 1930s.

John Francis

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26043
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:30 pm

maestrob wrote:The Op. 111 is a masterpiece that has stayed with me since my late teens (Charles Rosen), and I have three favorite stereo performances to add to the discussion: Alfred Brendel on Philips, Russell Sherman and Claudio Arrau. Each has his own individual statement to make (Brendel is the most cerebral), while Sherman is the only pianist I know who imparts such a depth of meaning to each note. All are great interpretations and worthy of your attention.
n

I still have my LP of Rosen's recording of the late sonatas. Switching topics slightly, I wonder how many here know that the Opus 106 was not performed in public complete until some years after Beethoven's death.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 16916
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by Lance » Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:39 pm

John Francis brings up another great name in pianists of the past: EGON PETRI, indeed, one of my all-time favorites, too. Petri was on the staff of Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY where he and his wife resided for a time, Ithaca being about 45 or so minutes from me as I write this. I remember talking with his piano technician who held his breath through every Petri performance for fear a string might break or a hammer come unglued. (How well I know this feeling, too!)

There are a couple of CDs available with Petri's recording of Beethoven, Op. 111. The first one was recorded in January 3, 1935 and December 3, 1936 for British Columbia, now available in a 7-CD boxed set from APR (Appian) [7701] in England, which contain the complete British Columbia and Electrola solo and concerto recordings from 1929 to 1951. (APR also issued it on a single Petri CD). The other is a live 1954 performance on Pearl [CD 0149], which also includes Beethoven's Sonata Nos. 26, 30, and 31.

Probably among the most overwhelming performances of the "Hammerklavier" appeared with Petri on Westminster Records. Rarely have I heard a piano sound like that in 1950 mono recordings.

John, thank you for reminding me of the Petri Beethoven.
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 &*$#@+#]

Image

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 16916
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by Lance » Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:49 pm

Testament issued 17 Solomon recordings and I think I have them all: Testament Nos. 1030, 1041, 1042, 1084, 1188, 1189, 1190, 1191, 1192, 1219, 1220, 1221, 1222, 1230, 1232, 2158 (2 CD set). Some of these recordings were remastered. I also have the EMI set of the Beethoven sonatas [64708], which contains sonatas Nos. 27 through 32 inclusive. If you know of other Testament numbers featuring Solomon, - and near as I know these were all issued individually rather than in a set, - please let me know. I am fanatical about some of these things! :roll:
Holden Fourth wrote:I'm with Maestrob in nominating Arrau. The recording I'm referring to is not on CD but on a DVD in the EMI Classic Archive series. It was filmed in London on June 8th 1963. I've heard another Arrau performance on CD that is similar but not as good as this one.

Lance, is the Solomon performance part of the incomplete set that Testament produced or is it a one off recorded separately? I have the former but in its EMI incarnation with the rest of the late sonatas.
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 &*$#@+#]

Image

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 16916
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by Lance » Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:08 am

Brian, glad you mentioned Russell Sherman in this thread ... another superb pianist, and one I also had the pleasure of preparing his piano for recital. Another one of the real gentlemen in the profession. I have a few of his Pro Arte recordings, but no Beethoven, oddly. He wasn't a prolific recording artist. What, exactly, of Beethoven did he record?
maestrob wrote:The Op. 111 is a masterpiece that has stayed with me since my late teens (Charles Rosen), and I have three favorite stereo performances to add to the discussion: Alfred Brendel on Philips, Russell Sherman and Claudio Arrau. Each has his own individual statement to make (Brendel is the most cerebral), while Sherman is the only pianist I know who imparts such a depth of meaning to each note. All are great interpretations and worthy of your attention.
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 &*$#@+#]

Image

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 16916
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by Lance » Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:13 am

ADDENDUM:
I did some checking on Amazon, Brian. Apparently Sherman recorded a complete volume of all of Beethoven's piano sonatas, and then some. Born in 1930, he is still amongst the living but would be close to 87 years old in 2017.
Lance wrote:Brian, glad you mentioned Russell Sherman in this thread ... another superb pianist, and one I also had the pleasure of preparing his piano for recital. Another one of the real gentlemen in the profession. I have a few of his Pro Arte recordings, but no Beethoven, oddly. He wasn't a prolific recording artist. What, exactly, of Beethoven did he record?
maestrob wrote:The Op. 111 is a masterpiece that has stayed with me since my late teens (Charles Rosen), and I have three favorite stereo performances to add to the discussion: Alfred Brendel on Philips, Russell Sherman and Claudio Arrau. Each has his own individual statement to make (Brendel is the most cerebral), while Sherman is the only pianist I know who imparts such a depth of meaning to each note. All are great interpretations and worthy of your attention.
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 &*$#@+#]

Image

Donald Isler
Posts: 2944
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 11:01 am
Contact:

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by Donald Isler » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:51 am

I'm guessing that most people here know who my favorite performer of Op. 111 is. I know of at least three times he recorded it, the last two of which, on Vanguard and KASP Records, are still available.
Donald Isler

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26043
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:24 pm

Donald Isler wrote:I'm guessing that most people here know who my favorite performer of Op. 111 is. I know of at least three times he recorded it, the last two of which, on Vanguard and KASP Records, are still available.
.

Of course I know whom you mean, Don. Bruce Hungerford obviously. I still don't quite understand this making of distinctions among performances of the obvious. We should have a thread on Chopin Now there was a composer for piano who is rarely if ever interpreted according to his own intent , insofar as that can be determined.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

maestrob
Posts: 4847
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by maestrob » Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:17 pm

Lance wrote:ADDENDUM:
I did some checking on Amazon, Brian. Apparently Sherman recorded a complete volume of all of Beethoven's piano sonatas, and then some. Born in 1930, he is still amongst the living but would be close to 87 years old in 2017.
Lance wrote:Brian, glad you mentioned Russell Sherman in this thread ... another superb pianist, and one I also had the pleasure of preparing his piano for recital. Another one of the real gentlemen in the profession. I have a few of his Pro Arte recordings, but no Beethoven, oddly. He wasn't a prolific recording artist. What, exactly, of Beethoven did he record?
maestrob wrote:The Op. 111 is a masterpiece that has stayed with me since my late teens (Charles Rosen), and I have three favorite stereo performances to add to the discussion: Alfred Brendel on Philips, Russell Sherman and Claudio Arrau. Each has his own individual statement to make (Brendel is the most cerebral), while Sherman is the only pianist I know who imparts such a depth of meaning to each note. All are great interpretations and worthy of your attention.
Sherman also recorded the Beethoven Piano Concerti with the Czech Philharmonic (Vaclav Neumann). These recordings feature the most beautiful version of the Adagio from the Emperor Concerto I have ever heard.

I have the complete Sonatas, which can be hard to find, and are true collectors' items, at least in my house! :lol:

Thanks to cliftwood, who introduced me to this fine artist.

IcedNote
Posts: 2926
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NorCal

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by IcedNote » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:15 pm

Just wanted to chime in to say that this thread persuaded me to go back and spend some time with Schnabel's recordings of Beethoven's sonatas...something I hadn't done in years. Thank you kindly. 8)

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 16916
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by Lance » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:00 pm

Will be very curious to know what you think of these performances after you have re-heard some of them.
IcedNote wrote:Just wanted to chime in to say that this thread persuaded me to go back and spend some time with Schnabel's recordings of Beethoven's sonatas...something I hadn't done in years. Thank you kindly. 8)

-G
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 &*$#@+#]

Image

John F
Posts: 18769
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by John F » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:56 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I still don't quite understand this making of distinctions among performances of the obvious.
The distinctions are nonetheless there to be made; we hear them if perhaps you don't. Different pianists have different personalities, different physiques, different approaches to color, they follow different traditions or create their own. Beethoven himself played very freely, according to his contemporaries. It is not the pianist's job, in Beethoven or any other composer, to play exactly like all other pianists - I say to the contrary. Though sometimes the contrary is too contrary even for me, as with Glenn Gould's recording of op. 111's finale - the opposite of molto semplice.

John Francis

IcedNote
Posts: 2926
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NorCal

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by IcedNote » Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:57 pm

Lance wrote:Will be very curious to know what you think of these performances after you have re-heard some of them.
Some very moving performances. It makes me want to listen to the masters more often. I think it'd be really interesting to listen to different players play the same piece back-to-back-to-back-to-.... I must admit that it takes me a while to get past the poor recording quality of those older performances. It's as though my ear needs to adjust or something to tune out the hissing, etc. Ah, spoiled by technology. :mrgreen:

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26043
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:00 pm

John F wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:I still don't quite understand this making of distinctions among performances of the obvious.
The distinctions are nonetheless there to be made; we hear them if perhaps you don't. Different pianists have different personalities, different physiques, different approaches to color, they follow different traditions or create their own. Beethoven himself played very freely, according to his contemporaries. It is not the pianist's job, in Beethoven or any other composer, to play exactly like all other pianists - I say to the contrary. Though sometimes the contrary is too contrary even for me, as with Glenn Gould's recording of op. 111's finale - the opposite of molto semplice.

Do I have to remind you that Beethoven was stone deaf when he wrote this piece? I honestly do not hear the performance differences that others here are obsessing about. As great a work as it is, the Opus 111 belongs in the family of musical works that determine their own interpretation. Beethoven playing freely when he still had the ability more or less to hear what he played is not the issue. There is basically only one way to perform any of his sonatas, which as I have already posted cannot be said of the piano works of the second-greatest composer, Chopin.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
Posts: 3331
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by jserraglio » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:39 pm

jbuck919 wrote: . . . the Opus 111 belongs in the family of musical works that determine their own interpretation ...There is basically only one way to perform any of his sonatas ....



John F
Posts: 18769
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by John F » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:35 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I honestly do not hear the performance differences that others here are obsessing about.
We're not obsessing about them, we're discussing them. We hear them if you don't, and we believe they matter, whether or not you do.
jbuck919 wrote:Do I have to remind you that Beethoven was stone deaf when he wrote this piece?
Irrelevant to this discussion. You say, "Beethoven playing freely when he still had the ability more or less to hear what he played is not the issue." To the contrary, it's central to the issue you have chosen to raise. It reveals Beethoven's attitude toward the performance of his own music, and there's no reason to suppose that this changed when he could no longer perform it himself. You say, "There is basically only one way to perform any of his sonatas." On the evidence, Beethoven himself would disagree, and I certainly do.

I say "on the evidence." Here's some. Beethoven composed a song titled "Nord oder Süd" in 1817, long after he had become too deaf to perform in public. As to tempo, he wrote in the autograph, "100 according to Mälzel (i.e. the metronome), but this applies only to the first measures, as feeling has its own tempo, which cannot be conveyed wholly by a number (that is, 100)." This matches up with contemporary reports of Beethoven's playing, such as his pupil Czerny's observation that for Beethoven, espressivo almost always meant ritardando. Czerny implied, and Beethoven's amanuensis Schindler declared, that Beethoven played and expected many more freedoms than indicated in his scores. (Cf. William Newman, "Beethoven on Beethoven: Playing His Piano Music His Way," and Nicholas Cook, "Beyond the Score: Music as Performance.")

Sviatoslav Richter is one of the few pianists of our time whose Beethoven performances depart from the literalistic norm, especially in his famous interpretation of the Appassionata sonata. Here's the finale from a 1960 Moscow concert; he played the music essentially the same way in a Boston recital the next year (I was there). Nobody else plays the presto coda lilke this; even if they could, they'd rightly be accused of copying Richter.

Last edited by John F on Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
John Francis

maestrob
Posts: 4847
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by maestrob » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:34 pm

Contemporary ideals about performing music "come scritto" using the tempo marking over the first bar of each musical idea come from Toscanini, whose basic notion was efficiency in rehearsal. If one listens to Prokofiev's own recording of his Third Piano Concerto (conducted by Coppola), or Debussy's own piano rolls, it is apparent that Toscanini's "style" was and is simply one way of understanding music that happened to catch on for practical reasons.

Toscanini's ideas about tempo were actually not as strict as one would imagine: he could be flexible to accomodate singers' needs, and so should a pianist be flexible (gently) to properly shape the music. Each pianist varies tone quality and touch to suit his or her personality: thus differences in interpretation between, say, Brendel and Sherman or Richter in the Op. 111. Certainly a critic I admire(d) greatly, could tell the difference on WQXR (Irving Kolodin). Each rendition of this masterpiece has its own unique qualities. That's why we have listened so carefully over the years.

John F
Posts: 18769
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by John F » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:03 am

Toscanini was not consistent, especially in the earlier part of his career (through the 1920s). Have you heard the 1929 recording of Mozart's Haffner Symphony? The extraordinary ritenutos in the very first bars are unlike anything I've heard from other conductors of this music - and indeed, when he rerecorded the symphony in the 1940s, they were gone.



Back to Beethoven's sonatas, and to Artur Schnabel who was the first to record them all and whose cycle has prestige beyond any other pianist's. It is also quite unlike any other pianist's - so much for the notion that there's only one way to play Beethoven. This from Robert Philip, "Performing Music in the Age of Recording":
Robert Philip wrote:Recordings have preserved the performances of many musicians of the past who believed passionately in being true to the score and to the composer's intentions, but who had quite different ideas from ours about how this was to be achieved. Schnabel is often cited as an early example of a musician who set great store by the composer's text. But his recordings of Beethoven's piano sonatas (1932-5) together with his edition (1935) contain a wealth of evidence to show that Schnabel's idea of "faithfulness to the composer" was quite different from that of the scholars and performers of the late twentieth century and beyond.

At the heart of this is Schnabel's understanding of rhythm. His illumination of the score relies on a free treatment of the relationship between one note and another, and one passage and another, so as to create a vivid sense of how everything relates to everything else. He characterizes each rhythmic detail, underlining the differences between the accented and the unaccented, the short and the long, and distinguishing between points of repose and points of transition. His pupil Clifford Curzon reported, "His rhythm...was never produced by extraneous accents, which he spent a lot of time removing from our performances, but by the most careful placing of each sound. As he frequently put it to us, "Rhythm is a matter of proportion, not of accent." This echoes something that Schnabel's teacher Leschetizky told him: "You must speak the piano."

In practice this means almost constant, subtle changes of pace from phrase to phrase, and a very flexible approach to the relationship between long and short notes. Schnabel's volatile way of doing all this is "free," and not much of it is to be found in Beethoven's text. But it is the very freedom which gives us the impression of drawing closer to an understanding of what Beethoven's text means.
All of Schnabel's Beethoven recordings have been uploaded to YouTube, so you can choose which to listen to in the light of Philip's observations.
John Francis

Holden Fourth
Posts: 1363
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:47 am

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by Holden Fourth » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:07 pm

John F wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:I honestly do not hear the performance differences that others here are obsessing about.
Sviatoslav Richter is one of the few pianists of our time whose Beethoven performances depart from the literalistic norm, especially in his famous interpretation of the Appassionata sonata. Here's the finale from a 1960 Moscow concert; he played the music essentially the same way in a Boston recital the next year (I was there). Nobody else plays the presto coda lilke this; even if they could, they'd rightly be accused of copying Richter.

There is a Gilels performance (also Moscow) from almost the same time that parallels this great Richter performance. Maybe this is a Russian School thing.

John F
Posts: 18769
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in c, Op. 111

Post by John F » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:42 pm

Russian musicians of the generation that came to maturity during and after the war were isolated from and immune to the pressure in the west toward literalistic conformity, strange as that might seem. Other highly indivudual musicians of that generation included Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya.
John Francis

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests