Re: Bavouzet Vol !
- From: td <tomdedeacon@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2012 03:18:38 -0700 (PDT)
On Jun 6, 5:25 am, "HvT" <hvtuijl- SPAM- @xs4all.nl> wrote:
Just found this rave review from Andrew Clark in the FT:
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"Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol 1
By Andrew Clark
The music is consistently engaging in its imaginative scope,
stylistic freedom and technical fearlessness
This is one of the biggest discoveries I have come across in years. I
say ³discoveries² guardedly, because Beethoven¹s 32 sonatas are as
much a staple of the record catalogue as they are of the concert
repertoire: there is huge competition. But as anyone who has heard
Bavouzet¹s previous Chandos CDs (Haydn and Ravel) will know, he makes
you listen to music as if you are discovering it Eureka!-style: yes,
that¹s what the composer must have meant. Bavouzet¹s Beethoven here
embracing the first 10 sonatas, including the ³Grande Sonate² and
³Pathétique², all written before 1800 is consistently engaging in
its imaginative scope, stylistic freedom and technical fearlessness.
Rather than confining the three Op.2 sonatas to a classical
straitjacket, he acknowledges the undercurrents of Beethovenian
temperament, investing the Adagio of the A major sonata with defiant
solemnity and the Scherzo with infectious wit all the while
achieving a quality of articulation that is exhilarating. Thereafter
Bavouzet traces the music¹s rising emotional temperature and
exploding creative range with artless skill until, by the three
Op.10 sonatas, we sense the composer¹s psyche oscillating perilously
between ecstasy and fragility, every extreme tempered by formal
rigour: Bavouzet is at his very best where Beethoven asks most of
his interpreter, notably in the titanic slow movement of the third
As for the ³Pathétique², the Frenchman is on fire from first note to
last. The only question now is: after such an outstanding start to
his complete cycle, how can Bavouzet maintain this sense of
discovery and how long must we wait for the next instalment?"
I've only heard the first 4 sonatas and the first movement of the
Pathetique. I think we have a new standard for the Beethoven Sonatas
(at least the early ones).
Often a pianist takes these early sonatas and shows off his chops.
Dazzles us with his fingerwork and blasts through them almost like
encore pieces, as they're not the deepest works in the set.
Not Bavouzet. He looks for the music in these works, and he finds it..
He doesn't dazzle -- he sings. Yet, there's very little pedal. He
makes them sing with his fingers, without the asceticism of Gould. We
hear thoughtfulness, passion and wit. Bavouzet gets a wonderful,
smooth tone from the piano.
Who was the last pianist that made the 4th sonata interesting? I
can't remember any. Not only does Bavouzet put drama and song into
this, I want to listen to it again, and get the score out and see if
I can still play some of it. I'm sure I'm going to be wearing out the
grooves on these mp3s, listening to them several times.
5 stars is a correct rating. Recommended. You can still download
this set on the cheap from Amazon for $6.49.
I received the 3-CD set a few weeks ago and am still listening to it. It has
not just become my preferred early Beethoven set, it has even changed my
appreciation of the early Beethoven sonatas. Opus 10/2, my favourite among
the early sonatas, never before sounded as full of ideas and as
colourfull.Bavouzet even makes the Pathetique sound like new.
After the Ravel,Debussy and Haydn this is another remarkable achievement by
this French pianist. I'm looking forward to whatever he decides to record
I just received this set and look forward to hearing it. (I had to fix
the Gracenote listings first. ARGH!!!)
But the competition in Beethoven is severe, I have to say, even among
the young generation of pianists who are recording or have just
recorded all of them. I'll spare you the list.
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