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Beethoven: Favourite Piano Sonatas

Ludwig Van Beethoven Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.74 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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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

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The hightest level of playing Beethoven Oct. 30 2003
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Brendel plays Beethoven better than anyone. June 1 2001
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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5.0 out of 5 stars With So Many Choices, A Clear Best-in-Show Oct. 22 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
So, why this one, with so many out there? Well, if you are a pianist, you'd know that even if you've mastered one of these sonatas, it is difficult to have so many of them up to a 5-star standard. Horowitz' Appasionata is absolutely amazing! Rubinstein, late in his career, did such incredible things with the late sonatas. Barenboim's Moonlight will make you weep. Ashkenazy's Waldstein has the power it deserves. Murray Perahia makes the early sonatas sing!
But Brendel knows Beethoven. He knows him better than all of these others combined. There is never an unBeethovenian mannerism, never a pause for effect not-intended, never a dynamic misplaced, a peddle-point missed, a trill given more attention than it deserves. This is "thinking man's Beethoven". (It bears some resemblance to Wilhelm Kempf's, but Brendel's sense of rhythm is better.) You will listen to the first 30 bars of Moonlight and think, "Well, where's the bravura? where's the beef?", and then after 60 bars you'll think again -- "how could it possibly be played in any other way?" And, after you've gotten the other recordings out of your system, you'll think the same of virtually all the selections.
I won't throw out my Horowitz -- the students need to hear it. And I think I'd say the same of the earlier Barenboim recording. But for the rest -- after you own this one, you can dispense with them -- you've got all that you need.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable for any Beethoven lover. Jan. 13 2001
Format:Audio CD
This was the first Beethoven disc that i heard, and it really touched me. This music is so filled with and arduous sense of tragedy, yet it conveys the essence of Beethoven: expressing feeling through music. These performances so beautifully demostrate the incalculable genius of the composer. Any beginer should be very satisfyed with this Duo Disc. An excellent value for money. The playing is of high standard, excellent i must say in the case of the Pathetique and Waldestein sonatas. Also, its important to mention that the performances are in a very german matter. The only stepback is the sound, which in the Appassionata is dry and opaque. All in all, indispensable.
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