Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

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Rach3
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Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

Post by Rach3 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:37 pm

Apparently to be released by SONY next week, BBC Radio 3 Record Review gives a thumbs up, at least to the Sonata No. 1 , Op.2,# 1, played complete on the broadcast here,the full set to be reviewed next week on BBCR3:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00089ms ( At about 1:31:30 in )

Some years ago I recall a reviewer opining it was often difficult to tell if a work was late Mozart or late Haydn vs. early Beethoven. Not with this work.

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Re: Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

Post by John F » Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:00 pm

What, another Beethoven sonata cycle? Used to be that even the greatest pianists recorded Beethoven one sonata at a time, or at most two or three to fill a single LP. Even Rudolf Serkin recorded maybe half the sonatas in his long career, and as far as I know, never playedall 32 in public. They played music they had lived with for a long time. How long has Igor Levit, now all of 32 years old, lived with, say, op. 79?
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Rach3
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Re: Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

Post by Rach3 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:29 am

John F wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:00 pm
What, another Beethoven sonata cycle?
I wonder, too.However,Levit's cd of the Opa.109-111 from about 5 years ago was critically hailed.Fazil Say is apparently coming out with the set in Feb.,2020 ; he'll be 50 then.Although he was uncomfortable with recording in general, Schnabel intentionally did not even try to record any of them until he was 50 , if I recall correctly.It is not uncommon to hear 20-somethings,or even teen-somethings play 109,110 or 111 at competitions these days.
https://www.sonyclassical.com/news/igor ... -fall-2019

Btw, Op.79 is one of my fav LvB sonatas.

In Sydney, June 25,1927,Ignazy Friedman's programme was played in this order :
Beethoven Sonata,Op.111
Scarlatti-Tausig Capriccio
Schumann "Papillons"; Symphonic Etudes
Chopin Waltz
Chopin Nocturne Op.62,#2; Impromptu Op.29;Scherzo Op.20
Gartner-Friedman Viennese Dance # 4
Szymanowski Prelude
Suk Minuet
Henselt-Godowsky Etude "If I Were a Bird"
Strauss-Godowsky "Fledermaus" Paraphrase

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Re: Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

Post by John F » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:33 am

In those days it was usual for a concert to begin with the major work in the program, and to end with lighter music. Toscanini's first symphony concerts in the 1890s all took that form, for example:

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1
Mancinelli: Incidental music for Cossa's "Cleopatra" - Andante and Barcarola
Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker - Marche Miniature
Ponchielli: Marion Delorme - Intermezzo to Act IV
Verdi: I Vespri Siciliani - Overture
Wagner: Siegfried - Forest Murmurs
Saint-Saëns: Danse Macabre

Later, of course, it became customary to begin concerts with one or more "light" pieces, an overture or "antiche arie" or Scarlatti, so that the performer could play/sing himself in and, not incidentally, to allow for seating late-comers. Nowadays you hardly ever hear an overture in a symphony concert, which I think is a pity.
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Re: Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

Post by maestrob » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:52 am

Igor Levit is quite a mature artist IMHO, and the success of his 3 disc set including a very fine Diabelli Variations and Bach's Goldberg Variations bodes well for the release of his Beethoven Sonatas.

FWIW, Brendel recorded the Beethoven Sonatas 3 times, and the middle one recorded for Philips label in the 1970's is quite fine.

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Re: Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

Post by John F » Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:26 pm

Brendel's first Beethoven sonata cycle, recorded for the cut-price Vox Box label in the early '60s when he was in his thirties, is praised by some but not particularly by me. The playing is accurate and intelligent but has nothing like the character of Brendel's later recorded and concert cycles, as you would expect since he must have been playing much of the music for the first time in the Vox recording studio.
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Rach3
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Re: Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

Post by Rach3 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:33 pm

John F wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:26 pm
Brendel's first Beethoven sonata cycle, recorded for the cut-price Vox Box label in the early '60s when he was in his thirties, is praised by some but not particularly by me.
I have only the Op.111 Vox lp of that first cycle, but it is great. Cant speak to any others as I dont have much Brendel.

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Re: Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

Post by Lance » Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:34 pm

I find Levit to be an excellent pianist … but another "32"? I will pass on this having so many complete versions already not to mention countless recordings of individual sonatas. And I will pass on Fazil as well.
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Rach3
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Re: Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

Post by Rach3 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:58 am

His SONY cd set of the 28th,"Hammerklavier",30,31,32 are at YouTube on his channel there:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTKsZ3f ... ig&index=1

Rach3
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Re: Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

Post by Rach3 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:15 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEbRP6PBqQk ( PR video for the Beethoven set )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AjCKx9HGd4 (Playing a fav of mine,Bill Evans’ “Peace Piece”,from Levit's "Life" cd )

maestrob
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Re: Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

Post by maestrob » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:06 am

John F wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:26 pm
Brendel's first Beethoven sonata cycle, recorded for the cut-price Vox Box label in the early '60s when he was in his thirties, is praised by some but not particularly by me. The playing is accurate and intelligent but has nothing like the character of Brendel's later recorded and concert cycles, as you would expect since he must have been playing much of the music for the first time in the Vox recording studio.
Quite. I have all three cycles, and prefer his two later ones. His early Schubert Impromptus recorded for Vox are, simply put, outstanding.

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Re: Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

Post by John F » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:34 pm

Since you mentioned Schubert impromptus and a young pianist, have you heard William Kapell's last studio recordings before his early death? Those who know him only from the Khatchaturian piano concerto might be surprised that he recorded 1½ LPs of Chopin mazurkas plus the third sonata, and a miscellaneous recital including this lovely version of Schubert's impromptu in A flat.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kxhRN-4pL8
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Re: Pianist Igor Levit's new complete Beethoven sonatas

Post by barney » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:28 pm

maestrob wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:06 am
John F wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:26 pm
Brendel's first Beethoven sonata cycle, recorded for the cut-price Vox Box label in the early '60s when he was in his thirties, is praised by some but not particularly by me. The playing is accurate and intelligent but has nothing like the character of Brendel's later recorded and concert cycles, as you would expect since he must have been playing much of the music for the first time in the Vox recording studio.
Quite. I have all three cycles, and prefer his two later ones. His early Schubert Impromptus recorded for Vox are, simply put, outstanding.
Entirely agree.

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