Help choosing a complete set of Beethoven Piano Sonatas

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DavidRoss
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Help choosing a complete set of Beethoven Piano Sonatas

Post by DavidRoss » Wed Nov 30, 2005 3:18 pm

Recently I've been listening more often to several of LvB's piano sonatas. I have Buchbinder's set on Teldec. His playing is very clean, often a bit brisk, more virtuosic than emotive, more classical than romantic. Though a bit understated and conservative, I think his playing is very good and am surprised that the recording is out of print and virtually unknown. I also have many of Brendel's Philips discs, some Pollini, Rubinstein, Barenboim, and most of Kovacevich.

Lately I've been itching to acquire a "better" complete recording of the sonatas. If you have any personal favorites I'd appreciate hearing about them. Thank you.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

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ch1525
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Post by ch1525 » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:10 pm

Wilhelm Kempff's is a must listen.

I'd also like to get the Arrau set eventually.

Gregory Kleyn

Post by Gregory Kleyn » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:16 pm

ch1525 wrote:Wilhelm Kempff's is a must listen.
Why, - and which one?

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Post by Gary » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:31 pm

The Backhaus set, maybe?
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:53 pm

Kempff mono was my usual preference, and the Schnabel set is often considered a "must" by collectors. Kempff's set was renowned for his interpretations of the "unnamed" and little-known sonatas, while Schnabel has a style all his own in the warhorses. Even incomplete, Gilels' set was also quite good - I seem to recall his "Waldstein" was excellent but haven't given it a spin in ages.

I must admit that these days I tend to go for individual preferences of particular sonatas - and still need to track down that footage of Myra Hess playing the opening to the Appassionata.

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Post by dirkronk » Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:01 pm

No integral set of the LvB sonatas will fully satisfy. First, no one artist nails every sonata. Second, once you're hooked on this music, you will want multiple approaches anyway. Trust me. Right now I'm starting a traversal of the Dino Ciani complete cycle (cheap, interesting so far, but very badly recorded). Of the true complete cycles out there, perhaps the most important are:

- Schnabel--very old, but very insightful. On lots of labels, but I've heard that the Naxos series offers the best remastered sound--others will have to confirm, since I have the set only on GROC Angel vinyl.
- Kempff--his stereo version is just fine, but his mono is better, both in playing AND in sonics. Both on DGG.
- Annie Fischer--penetrating, fascinating and you'll either love her or hate her. I love her, especially in the lesser known works, where insights abound.

NOTE: none of these offer what I consider really superior Appassionata, Waldstein and other big "name" sonatas, though theirs ARE good.

Other "completes" include Yves Nat (perhaps too...uh, unique to be a first or only version, though interesting for occasional listening), Arrau and Barenboim (many people rave, but I can't stand either one in this repertoire), Brendel (IMO his early Vox recordings offer more freshness and energy than his later, more publicized Philips LvB). Kovacevich and Pollini will surely be mentioned--I tend to like them only in parts of the cycle, and more in recent recordings than in their efforts from a couple of decades back.

Not complete, but pretty close and worthy of listening:
-Solomon--if his were complete, I'd almost surely recommend it over all others. He takes the middle path interpretively, but his phrasing and segues are without peer. He's also consistently better across the board at the big "name" sonatas than most other pianists.
- Gilels--his DGG near-complete cycle is what gets most critical applause, though I tend to like his live and/or earlier studio efforts more. Still, a very strong contender.
- Gieseking--not totally consistent in all the sonatas he plays, but he can be very, very appealing. His Waldstein was practically an epiphany for me early in my classical listening.
- Backhaus--raw, direct, powerful and really wonderful IMO as a foil to Solomon's more refined approach.

Nowhere near complete, but absolutely essential listening in whatever he HAS done:
- Richter--any and all, but especially performances from the 1950s and 1960s.

And of course there are probably dozens of pianists who offer one or more LvB sonatas in drop-dead gorgeous versions, but who don't have complete cycles out. Casadesus, for example. (No, no...I MUST stop myself before I list more...)

I now yield the floor to folks with other suggestions.
:D

Dirk

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Beethovens pianosonatas

Post by premont » Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:50 pm

Being owner of many complete cycles and many individual recordings of these works, I have got a solid basis for comparation, but the more I listen to these, the more the concept of favorites looses its importance. Most cycles have got their own strengths, and I listen every day, if I ever get the time, to some Beethoven sonatas. Which cycle(s) to choose, is certainly a matter of taste. How do you prefer your Beethoven played? In an objective or subjective way? And if subjective, do you prefer an e.g. lyrical, dramatical or romantical interpretation? I agree with you, that Buchbinders cycle is clean and virtuosic, and I should characterize him as one of the most objective and neutral interpreters.

My opinion about some of the cycles, I own, is in short:

Kempff (both cycles) is lyrical and underplays the dramatic elements.

Bachaus (both cycles) seems to be objective, and his interpretation implies much understatement.
This is true of the Gulda 1967 cycle as well.

Arrau (1960es cycle) is a bit wilful and may seem contrieved. As to me I like his grand style.

Barenboim (both cycles) is controlled romantical. He is a master of pianosound.

Lucchesinis cycle and Badura-Skodas (first cycle on Bösendorfer piano) are both expressive and emotional in a tasteful way. Lucchesinis cycle is a live performance.

Annie Fischers cycle is very emotional and sometimes the artistic coherence in her interpretation is weak.

Lill´s and Jando´s cycles are muscular interpretations with strong but controlled contrasts, both typical modern interpretations.

O´Connor considers like Kempff the beauty af the sound the most important element of the music.

Heidsiecks cycle is rather individual and inventive. Some listeners may find him idiosyncratic.

Roberts cycle is blend, Pearls cycle is immature.

Giesekings two incomplete cycles are for the most part superficial.

Gilels incomplete cycle is variable. When he succeds the best he achieves an almost Klemperer-like monumentalism.

Gould is for the most part almost musically perverted.

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Post by Werner » Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:21 pm

I've said this before, and perhaps this is a good time to repeat myself. Completeness is no requirement for realizing the Beethoven sonata oeuvre. After all, you listen to them one sonata at a time. (And play them that way, too.)

In fact, I just recently finally bought the Schnabel set on CD and made a point of listening to it in chronological order. Who has the time and concentrated attention span to do this once, never mind as many times as there are sets to discuss? (The only complete set I've owned otherwise if the Claude Frank set on LPs. But I have lots of individual sonatas from a variety of performers.)

Yes, the Solomon incomplete set is a case in point. If he had been able to complete it, it would be a magnificent artifact. The same thing is true of the Hungerford set, which was interrupted by a fateful car crash. None of that makes any of the sonatas fro wither set any less important.
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Post by rogch » Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:00 am

Richard Goode's cycle on Nonesuch is Gramophone's recomended recording for a complete set of Beethoven's piano sonatas. I haven't heard it, but it would surprise me if it was less than brilliant.
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Post by DanielFullard » Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:27 am

I have the Daniel Barenboim set and its enjoyable. Although I do know a lot of people dont like the man its a worthy set to haev in your collection

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Post by herman » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:12 am

For me it works best, when I'm listening to a LvB sonata, to play Schnabel (on Naxos) and the mono Kempff back to back. This usually gives a more interesting perspective than listening to just one of these. Some time ago I got Arrau's Philips cycle, but somehow it hasn't quite managed to lure me in the same way; the playing is too monumental. I like what I have of Rudolph Serkin.

As a matter of fact I'm going to get another cycle today, wheather permitting: I spotted Friedrich Gulda's 1968 cycle in a brilliant box which can't be expensive.

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Post by premont » Thu Dec 01, 2005 5:39 am

Werner wrote:I've said this before, and perhaps this is a good time to repeat myself. Completeness is no requirement for realizing the Beethoven sonata oeuvre. After all, you listen to them one sonata at a time. (And play them that way, too.)
Of course not, and I don´t think anyone has got that opinion. My point is, that it is necessary to listen to many different interpretations, since no one, no matter how excellent he is, can cover all the many aspects of these sonatas, which are so varied and full of possibilities. But completeness is necessary to realize the possibilities of all the sonatas.

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Post by gfweis » Thu Dec 01, 2005 7:40 am

If it's a complete set that is wanted, this would be my ranking of the sets I have: 1) Annie Fischer; 2) Kempff (mono); 3) Kempff (stereo); 4) Arrau; 5) Backhaus; 6) Schnabel. The Backhaus mono set is available from Japan (authorized) and from Italy (source material is unclear). I don't have it, but from what I know about it, it might go as high as No. 2, but is unlikely to supplant Annie. I cannot recommend too highly the Annie Fischer set. She seems to me to bring out exactly the right Beethovian passions. She is a whirlwind. Gilels came close to a complete set, and if he had made it, it would be right near the top. I agree with dirkronk and Werner that the Solomons are also first-rate.
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Post by MaestroDJS » Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:32 am

gfweis wrote:If it's a complete set that is wanted, this would be my ranking of the sets I have: 1) Annie Fischer; 2) Kempff (mono); 3) Kempff (stereo); 4) Arrau; 5) Backhaus; 6) Schnabel.
I've had the Kempff stereo set for over a decade and have been well pleased with it. Several times I've played the entire set in chronological order, and it's a joy to hear how Beethoven grew as a composer.
DanielFullard wrote:I have the Daniel Barenboim set and its enjoyable. Although I do know a lot of people dont like the man its a worthy set to haev in your collection
I have Barenboim's set of Mozart piano sonatas and have been very underwhelmed. Luckily I bought it at a greatly-reduced price. Maybe his romanticized approach is all wrong for that music but right for Beethoven. I'd like to try more Beethoven sonata cycles, but it's another case of "art is long but life is short" -- so much music, so little time.

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Post by jwinter » Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:40 am

Of the sets I own, I'd definitely go with Kempff mono as the most satisfying overall. Don't be put off by the mono sound - it's surprisingly good.

For a modern digital set, I think both Stephen Kovacevich and Richard Goode are excellent, although very different -- Goode is a great deal more lyrical and laid back, almost introspective in spots, while Kovacevich is much more fiery.

For a bargain choice, I picked up Claude Frank's cycle recently on overstock.com for a pittance -- it's consistently interesting, nothing flashy but I think it would make a great introductory set.

I'm also very fond of Arrau, although I wouldn't recommend it as your first or only set unless you are already familiar with Arrau's style. Very personal readings.

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Post by Lance » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:17 am

We've had some really good suggestions here, backed up with some good thoughts behind each integrated set. It comes down to a matter of personal preference for some pianist you like and if you don't know, securing one by asking questions is the next best way. That said, however, having one pianist interpret all the sonatas gives us a one-sided view, albeit sometimes a good one. In the end, you'll probably want to have other versions of at least some of the most loved of these sonatas, such as the Moonlight, Pathetique, Appassionata, Tempest, Les Adieux, and the Opp. 109, 110, and 111.

I have many of the integral sets, including these, not rated in any particular order:

[1] Artur Schnabel - EMI complete set (with some of the Naxos to compare sound, the latter of which are outstanding transfers). Like it or not, Schnabel more or less set the 'standard' with these recordings.

[2] Richard Goode - Elektra-Nonesuch, pretty much standard performances and a wonderful set to have as a first. There's no "monkey-shines" here.

[3] Wilhelm Kempff - DGG mono set. Perhaps the one set I consistently turn to outside of Schnabel's. Kempff was in top form when these were recorded.

[4] Wilhelm Kempff - DGG stereo set. Less exciting (more contived and pedagogic) than his mono set, but interesting to compare the pianist in his earlier DGG version. An even earlier set of recordings made in the 1930s appeared on Dante, but they are incomplete, still worthy of hearing nonetheless.

[5] Friedrich Gulda - Decca boxed set. A fine set offering highly individual performances. A superb musician who leaves you finding something "new" in his interpretations.

[6] Alfred Brendel - Vox recordings. The young Brendel does more for me than what I hear in his Philips recordings though the Vox are unevenly recorded. Brendel's youthful piano tone was deep and ravishing.

[7] Sergio Fiorentino - Concert Artist/Fidelio recordings. An often neglected pianist who also is very individual in his approach. A master pianist whose work should be considered more carefully.

[8] Wilhelm Backhaus - British Decca set. Highly satisfying performances by an old master, and beautifully recorded on a Bösendorfer piano. These recordings are harder to come by today but worth seeking. In his heyday, Backhaus was considered a supreme pianist. One listen reveals the reasons.

[9] Maria Grinberg - Russian Melodiya. I've always loved her playing and sound though I wouldn't place this set in the top five.

[10] Claude Frank - Music & Arts (from RCA masters). A superb pianist whose set, it seems to me, could also be a 'standard' version who gives you the music as it's written without a lot of highly individual 'brush marks.'

[11] Tatiana Nikolayeva - Melodiya or Olympia (same recordings). Here's a pianist who makes some impressions. Nothing 'standard' about her, and they are readings you are unlikely to forget; she creates a pianistic sound that Beethoven probably would have died for. She was considered, like Grinberg, very scholarly. The playing may not be as precise as a Richard Goode, but the music-making has something to say.

Now, you intersperse those complete sets with incomplete offerings recorded by other renown pianists such as Edwin Fischer, Solomon, Gieseking, and Annie Fischer (I don't have her complete set but a few from the set, including Op. 111), Rubinstein, Clara Haskil, Rudolf Serkin, Sviatoslav Richter, Benno Moiseiwitsch, Ernst Levy, Emil Gilels, Bruce Hungerford, Anton Kuerti, Youra Guller (sonatas 31/32), Egon Petri, Myra Hess, Ivan Moravec, Maria Yudina, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Guiomar Novaes, Glenn Gould, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (live and studio), Dino Ciani (who doesn't really cut it for me in this repertoire), Elly Ney (a finer Beethoven interpreter than many give her credit for), Gerhard Oppitz, and many others.

While I have some of Claudio Arrau's Beethoven sonata recordings, he makes no lasting impression, though I admit him to be an elegant and highly personal artist; I prefer his earlier playing to his later. Horowitz has also recorded some Beethoven sonatas, but he is basically out of his element in this repertoire in comparison to others who have made Beethoven almost their life's work. Barenboim doesn't cut it for me either with his complete set; while it's "all there," his fingerwork and technique is fine, but interpretations leave me cold.

Most younger collectors today will not be able to find a lot of this music on disc, but if you are a veteran concert-goer or record collector for many decades, you will have been exposed to much of this music and have formulated your own opinions, based on score study, in-depth listening based only on what strikes you as being outstanding, or your own performance/study of the works.

I'm sure I left out a few names and recordings that are highly important, but the matter of Beethoven's 32 is a complex and huge issue, far too big to discuss in really any detail here especially when talking about integrated sets. They really need to be spoken of on an individual basis and even then, it's a huge issue. There are also many other complete sets by pianists whose work I don't have except for individual sonatas. One does have to draw the line somewhere.

So, if you narrow it down to just THREE complete sets, the ones I would want for my own collection would probably come down to these:

[1] Kempff - DGG/mono version [absolute choice]
[2] Artur Schnabel - EMI/Naxos version [absolute choice]
[3] Richard Goode - Elektra-Nonesuch [changeable choice]

expanded by any individual recordings by Solomon, Edwin Fischer, Clara Haskil (Tempest), Rudolph Serkin, Myra Hess, Ernst Levy, Sviatoslav Richter, Annie Fischer or any of the others whose art intrigues you.

Whew ... this is a tough topic and always is when you talk integrated editions!
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Post by mahlerfan » Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:06 am

Great survey Dirk-- but your description of Backhaus?? He's more classical, unemotive to me, not powerful.

My two keepers are right off of Lance's 2 out of 3-- Schnabel and fifties Kempff. :)

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Post by val » Fri Dec 02, 2005 5:00 am

For those who are starting with Beethoven's Sonatas I would suggest Brendel (PHILIPS). It is not a very enthusiastic version, but the sound is good, the "tempi" chosed by Brendel are, in general, acceptable - with exceptions as the 2nd mouvement of the Sonata opus 28 - and you can hear everything in perfect technical conditions.

But for those who want to go deep in the meaning of this masterpieces there are four fabulous versions of the complete sonatas:
Arrau (PHILIPS)
Backhaus (DECCA)
Kempff (DGG, 1951)
Brendel (VOX) (here Brendel is much more personal and natural than in the PHILIPS version, but the sound cannot be compared)

The version of Schnabel has extraordinary moments and others more dubious, but the sound is bad (it was the first version of the 32 Sonatas in 1933/5). The recent edition on NAXOS seems a little better than the EMI edition.

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Post by DavidRoss » Fri Dec 02, 2005 7:06 am

Thanks to all for your suggestions. I've ordered the consensus choice: Kempff's '50s mono set, which is a perennial favorite of the professional critics, too. Premont's cryptic description of the Heidsieck cycle--"individual...inventive...idiosyncratic"--intrigues me, though I'd like to hear more: idiosyncratic in what way? And do you like his approach? (I might describe Kovacevich similarly, though I would add "passionate." Despite a few excesses, I like him very much and have all but a couple of the discs in his EMI traversal.)

I have some of Arrau's and Gilels's recordings of the sonatas, as well as many of Brendel's 2nd cycle. Though there is much to admire in them, they all strike me as somewhat aloof. Their recordings seem to be about their playing rather than about Beethoven's music. For me they are not very involving and I seldom return to them, preferring Rubinstein, Buchbinder, or Kovacevich. With any luck I'll soon add Kempff to that list!
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

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Post by dirkronk » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:55 am

mahlerfan wrote:Great survey Dirk-- but your description of Backhaus?? He's more classical, unemotive to me, not powerful.
I meant to convey my evaluation of his assured touch on the keys and physical projection of the music, especially in his Carnegie Hall performances from the early 1950s. That set of LPs was one of my earlier exposures to Backhaus doing Beethoven, and played over my hi-fi today they still sound powerful indeed--if not in the explosive interpretive sense, as Richter and others may present, at least in the sense of almost granitic structure that Backhaus provides the music. At least, that's the way I hear it. YMMV, of course.

Dirk

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Post by premont » Mon Dec 05, 2005 7:06 pm

DavidRoss wrote: Premont's cryptic description of the Heidsieck cycle--"individual...inventive...idiosyncratic"--intrigues me, though I'd like to hear more: idiosyncratic in what way? And do you like his approach? (I might describe Kovacevich similarly, though I would add "passionate." Despite a few excesses, I like him very much and have all but a couple of the discs in his EMI traversal.)
It is not easy to describe in words, what Heidsieck does. He makes many small variations from the basic pulse and at the same time many small variations in dynamics, giving the music a very personal almost rhetorical character. I think much of this is spontaneous, and it adds to the feeling of concentration and presence. He is occupied with detailed expression, but on the other hand I don´t think he loses himself in details. With Buchbinder and Gulda for example everything seems to be decided on beforehand, and even if they certainly care about realizing details in their interpretation, they don´t seem to take advantage of the inspiration of the occation of the actual performance. Their interpratations are more intellectualized and less present and less directly communicating (aloof is your word for the same thing I think). They probably always play a certain sonata in the same way. Some may find that Heidsiecks readings are overinterpretated, but I think he always stays on the right side of the boarder of good taste, and indeed I find him to be very rewarding. His touch is warm and singing, and he is never brutally over-passionate like Kovacevich. But I don´t think Heidsiecks cycle is the optimal first acquaintance with Beethovens piano sonatas. To worship his subtleties you must know the sonatas well on beforehand in one way or the other. He may be mentioned when you have heard the great masters of Beethovens pianosonatas e.g. Kempff, Backhaus, Gilels, Solomon (and IMO Arrau, Barenboim and Badura-Skoda).

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Post by 12tone » Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:53 pm

What?! And no one mentions the Ashkenazy set on London/Decca? Or the Kuerti set on Analekta?

For shame!


Both these sets are complete and juicy good. From concentrate!


Ashkenazy set: Image

Kuerti set: Image

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Post by herman » Tue Dec 06, 2005 4:33 am

Your enthusiasm is commendable, and understandable, but the Ashkenazy is really not among the top contenders. I have the last four cd's of his LvB cycle and they're good byt not special. Ashkenazy has just about recorded every single piano piece in the universe, but Chopin and Rachmaninov are his specialities.

I have to say Gulda's cycle is proving quite attractive at times. There's a freshness and energy that's very pleasant after Arrau. I started somewhere in the late middle. The op 81 is a wonderful performance, followed by a not so great op. 90, one of my favorite sonatas,

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Post by DavidRoss » Thu Dec 08, 2005 8:04 pm

Wow. I received the Kempff mono set in the mail yesterday and have listened to nearly half of it so far.

Wow. Those of you who recommended this cycle failed to warn me that Kempff's playing is so poetic and evocative that it's magical. What nuances of touch, tone, and tempo! He renders even the "lesser" works so sensitively that unsuspected beauty is revealed, measure after measure after measure.

Wow. This recording is utterly addictive. I've always admired the piano sonatas as one of the glories of the literature, but Kempff demonstrates just how glorious they can be. Thank you all for your kind suggestions. No doubt in time I'll wonder what other revelations await in your other recommendations, but for now--maybe for a long time to come--I am completely satisfied with this set.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

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"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Post by Irish_Graham » Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:43 am

I have Daniel Barenboim playing them on an EMI classics collection.

I have little frame of reference, but from what Ive read of them they are a highly acclaimed collection.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:45 am

DavidRoss wrote:Wow. I received the Kempff mono set in the mail yesterday and have listened to nearly half of it so far.

Wow. Those of you who recommended this cycle failed to warn me that Kempff's playing is so poetic and evocative that it's magical. What nuances of touch, tone, and tempo! He renders even the "lesser" works so sensitively that unsuspected beauty is revealed, measure after measure after measure.

Wow. This recording is utterly addictive. I've always admired the piano sonatas as one of the glories of the literature, but Kempff demonstrates just how glorious they can be. Thank you all for your kind suggestions. No doubt in time I'll wonder what other revelations await in your other recommendations, but for now--maybe for a long time to come--I am completely satisfied with this set.
Lance will be particularly pleased at your reaction, David. Try the mono concertos under Kempen.
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dirkronk
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Location: San Antonio, Texas

Post by dirkronk » Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:38 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Lance will be particularly pleased at your reaction, David. Try the mono concertos under Kempen.
Great suggestion, Corlyss. As fine as his later stereo remakes with Leitner were--and I personally still like to hear those on occasion--his cycle with van Kempen rocks! I'm especially fond of 3 and 4. BTW, the "complete 1950s concerto" DGG box, which includes these, may still be at Overstock for cheap. I got a copy just a month or two ago, and have enjoyed having these to play on my boombox at work.
:D

Dirk

12tone
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Location: BC, Canada

Post by 12tone » Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:31 pm

Ashkenazy!

Corlyss_D
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:46 pm

dirkronk wrote: I got a copy just a month or two ago, and have enjoyed having these to play on my boombox at work.
:D

Dirk
Hey, Dirk!

I don't know what possessed WGMS to play the first one day in 1997 - they didn't do a lot of historical recordings. I was at work. I came right up out of my chair, shut the door to my office, turned off the phone, and just listened. I went straight out and got the set. It's been one of my two favorites ever since.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

gfweis
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Post by gfweis » Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:42 am

David Ross: I am delighted you are enjoying the Kempff mono sonatas. I simply want to endorse what Corlyss and Dirk said about the Kempff/Van Kempen piano concertos. You will hear great character and brio from WK. He gets a little wilder or more eruptive at times (just the right times) than he does in his later stereo set. The BPO is tight, and van K develops great momentum. You'll be upset if the phone rings.
Greg Weis

DavidRoss
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Post by DavidRoss » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:45 am

gfweis wrote:David Ross: I am delighted you are enjoying the Kempff mono sonatas. I simply want to endorse what Corlyss and Dirk said about the Kempff/Van Kempen piano concertos. You will hear great character and brio from WK. He gets a little wilder or more eruptive at times (just the right times) than he does in his later stereo set. The BPO is tight, and van K develops great momentum. You'll be upset if the phone rings.
I am keeping these recommendations in mind. I'm not a great fan on the PCs, but expect one day to give Kempff an opportunity to change that.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

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