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Beethoven: Favourite Piano Sonatas


Price: CDN$ 15.27 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 10 1993)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Universal Music Group
  • ASIN: B00000417L
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,962 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Sonata No. 8 In C Minor, Op. 13 (Pathetique): 1. Grave - Allegro Di Molto E Con Brio
2. Sonata No. 8 In C Minor, Op. 13 (Pathetique): 2. Adagio Cantabile
3. Sonata No. 8 In C Minor, Op. 13 (Pathetique): 3. Rondo (Allegro)
4. Sonata No 14 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 (Moonlight): 1. Adagio Sostenuto
5. Sonata No 14 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 (Moonlight): 2. Allegretto
6. Sonata No 14 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 (Moonlight): 3. Presto
7. Sonata No. 15 In D, Op. 28 (Pastoral): 1. Allegro
8. Sonata No. 15 In D, Op. 28 (Pastoral): 2. Andante
9. Sonata No. 15 In D, Op. 28 (Pastoral): 3. Scherzo (Allegro Assai)
10. Sonata No. 15 In D, Op. 28 (Pastoral): 4. Rondo (Allegro Ma Non Troppo)
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Sonata No. 17 In D Minor, Op. 31 No. 2 (The Tempest): 1. Largo - Allegro
2. Sonata No. 17 In D Minor, Op. 31 No. 2 (The Tempest): 2. Adagio
3. Sonata No. 17 In D Minor, Op. 31 No. 2 (The Tempest): 3. Allegretto
4. Sonata No. 21 In C, Op. 53 (Waldstein): 1. Allegro Con Brio
5. Sonata No. 21 In C, Op. 53 (Waldstein): 2. Introduzione (Adagio Molto)
6. Sonata No. 21 In C, Op. 53 (Waldstein): 3. Rondo (Allegretto Moderato - Pretissimo)
7. Sonata No. 23 In F Minor, Op. 57 (Appassionata): 1. Allegro Assai
8. Sonata No. 23 In F Minor, Op. 57 (Appassionata): 2. Andante Con Moto
9. Sonata No. 23 In F Minor, Op. 57 (Appassionata): 3. Allegro Ma Non Troppo

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
Brendel is a pianist with a truly unique style. Unlike many of his colleagues, he presents Beethoven with a very fresh attitude. I completely agree with the reviewer below me who said he is always 'just right.' Sure, when you compare Brendel to someone like Pollini or Ashkenazy, pianists with supreme power in their fingers, he might sound a bit strange or dry at first. But when you start to listen more carefully, and try to get more into the music, you will understand that Beethoven's music, being so intense itself, simply doesn't need that amount of power and density. What really is required is knowledge of the music, a lot of detail, and brightness. Brendel has it all. He is so much into the music that he can make every note speak for itself. How could anyone say he lacks emotion? No way! There's nothing but emotion here! Brendel is like the architect who manages to restore an ancient building having suffered a lot of superfluous changes over the years, in its original form. His Appassionata is the perfect example. Those anti-musical people who dismiss this disc might say 'Oh my, what a dull thing'. In fact, this recording is extremely thoughtful and serious. Even Pollini's Appassionata, whom I admire greatly, does not show the same level of understanding as Brendel's. The other sonatas inside this set are also way beyond criticism. I'm not saying I don't like fast-and-furious Beethoven (I'm very eager to hear Stephen Kovacevich's 32): I just think Brendel's Beethoven is the very best. Buy these two discs, or his complete digital cycle, which is even better!
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Format: Audio CD
Some musicians have an almost spooky connection with certain composers. Bohm and Mozart, Jochum and Bruckner, Ashkenazy and Chopin, Sawallisch and Richard Strauss-- these are a few ideal pairings in my collection. And Alfred Brendel is the undisputed master of Beethoven's piano sonatas. During the stereo and digital eras, Brendel has *lived* in the Beethoven 32. He breathes them, speaks them, eats and drinks them. No performer I know of has explored the 32 with such insight and intelligence. Brendel doesn't exaggerate or rush, prettify or pound. His beautiful touch allows each note to sing, as his fingers strike each key in a way that makes me think, "Just right." Just as impressively, Brendel understands and handles the architecture of each piece with breathless command. Barenboim may be more passionate, Ashkenazy more the virtuoso-- but among current pianists, Brendel is the greatest interpreter of Beethoven. We are so fortunate that he is alive in our times, and I'm sure another time will look back on him as the equal to Kempff, Backhaus, Fischer, and Arrau. If you can't afford to buy the complete digital set, then try this excellent selection of the "name" sonatas. Brendel's "Pathetique" avoids all crudity and self-indulgence. His "Waldstein" is a poem. His "Moonlight" steers clear of the predictable. In some ways, these versions are superior to his later efforts, for they exhibit a certain freshness of attack. From these selections, one may not realize that Beethoven was very witty, even humorous, at the keyboard, and Brendel's own quirky personality and curious mind have always brought out those qualities in Beethoven as well. But whether you're experiencing the entire 32, or just these famous pieces, you'll find no better guide than the Austrian of the goofy glasses and wispy hair.
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By "monica508" on March 16 2001
Format: Audio CD
Very disappointing recordings from the 70's. Some odd choice of tempo from Brendel; the Adagio Cantabile from the Pathetique seems to drag with heavy accompaniment while some passages of the Rondo are so fast that in combination with mediocre sound quality they lose clarity. The Andante of the Appassionata is spoiled by an urgency rendering the final Allegro movement relatively less dramatic. Also the subjects in the Allegro do not sing out as they could - just listen to Barenboim's recording. Not recommended even if you are on a tight budget. Try Barenboim or Ashkenazy.
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By A Customer on Feb. 15 2001
Format: Audio CD
For the price, this CD set offers fine playing all around. Don't expect any great insights or revelations, though. These are nicely thought-out, middle-of-the-road performances from Brendel that are perhaps a bit bland but quite solid for the most part. If you need performances with a little more panache, try Artur Schnabel, Sviatoslav Richter, or even Maurizio Pollini.
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