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Piano Sonatas 16 17 & 18 [Import]

Beethoven , Kovacevich Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 29.95
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Product Details


1. I: Allegro Vivace
2. II: Adagio Grazioso
3. III: Rondo: Allegretto
4. I: Largo/Allegro
5. II: Adagio
6. III: Allegretto
7. I: Allegro
8. II. Scherzo: Allegretto Vivace - Trio
9. III: Menuetto: Moderato E Grazioso - Trio
10. IV: Presto Con Fuoco

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Stephen Kovacevich, originally known as Stephen Bishop, has emerged in recent years as one of our most thoughtful interpreters of the classic piano literature. These three sonatas of Beethoven were published together, and they make a very fine listening program, from the quirky stop-and-go No. 16 (one of the least-played of Beethoven's sonatas), to the overt drama of No. 17 (the "Tempest"), to the bouncy humor of No. 18. Kovacevich stays with Beethoven all the way, bringing the character of each sonata to life. You'll seldom get as much of a laugh from the finale of No. 18 as he gives you here. A most distinguished disc. --Leslie Gerber

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply superb Jan. 14 2002
I agree with the music fan from Stockholm. This is a superb performance. Even the least known and least played of the three sonatas (no. 1) comes to life in the hands of Mr. Kovacevich. Compared with other popular performances of these works (for example, by Brendel, Ashkenazy, O'Conor), superlatives apply to Kovacevich's performances. The words unsurpassed, brilliant, magnificent, exhilarating, and dramatic come to mind. If you think you have heard these Beethoven sonatas before, think again. You will change your mind after listening to Mr. Kovacevich. In agreement with the reviewer from Sweden, I also find the recording a little shrill at times. The sound of other recordings (e.g O'Conor) is better. Also, the accompanying booklet needs rewriting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars definitive!!! Dec 26 2001
By A Customer
I have not listened to this particular cd!but going by the other sets of kovacevich's performances of beethoven's piano sonatas(sonata nos30,12,19,20,27,28,32)one can safely buy the complete set!coming to the sonata no17,the TEMPEST,i have recordings by gilels,pollini and BARENBOIM.The gilels is too dry,the one by pollini is better but the best is by BARENBOIM in an EMI recording.This performance by barenboim is full of coiled fury with pregnant pauses which hightens the dramatic impact.it is hard to see how this performance can be surpassed!
I would also recommend the excellent recordings of the beethoven piano sonatas by the argentinian pianist ALFREDO PERL on the NOVA ART label.Perl's tempos are just right and he plays with the right blend of sensitive lyricism and athletic vigour,without interpretative exageration!the sound quality is top class!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous playing Aug. 30 2001
By A Customer
Stephen Bishop is very underrated, and this CD of the three opus 31 sonatas is very well recorded. He is one of the best Beethoven interpreters alive today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best! June 16 2000
By A Customer
Stephen Kovacevich has become the foremost interpreter of Beethovens pianoworks. He had his breakthrough at the end of the sixties with the Diabelli variations and the Piano concertos with Sir Colin Davies. Both the variations and the concertos are to this day unsurpassed. He has had some downs in his career, especially the pianoconcertos recorded with the Australia chamberorchestra. Hopefully we'll have a whole cycle of the sonatas soon. He has recorded 21 of the 32 sonatas now on EMI and this has the potential of becoming the best version of the greatest music known to man. There is only one letdown among those, the sonata no 32 where I wish he would have listened a bit more to Schnabel's more sesitive and lyrical touch. In these sonatas however he is better than his closest competitors Schnabel and Kempff. He has the clarity, the playfullness and the technique. He avoids Kempff's somewhat too stiff treatments and sometimes to slow approach. Schnabel probably still earns his nickname "Master of the Adagio", but he sometimes blurred the notes in the fast passages, something we never hear from Kovacevich. He doesn't try to dazzle the listener with his technique, even though he accomplishes that in difficult passages (here most noteworthy in no 16), where one can hear that he doesn't have to exert himself. These versions are even better than the ones he made on Phillips in the 70's. Here he shows the neccessary ingredients of being able to play strictly classical, romantically raging and at the same time apply a sense of humour. Schnabel said this music is better than it can be played, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. The somewhat jumpy no 16, the mysterious Tempest(not many can make the arpeggios sound coherent) and the gay and beutiful Hunt. My only complaint is that the pianosound is a little too shrill, which is strange coming from a Steinway.
A Hockeyfan
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best! June 16 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Stephen Kovacevich has become the foremost interpreter of Beethovens pianoworks. He had his breakthrough at the end of the sixties with the Diabelli variations and the Piano concertos with Sir Colin Davies. Both the variations and the concertos are to this day unsurpassed. He has had some downs in his career, especially the pianoconcertos recorded with the Australia chamberorchestra. Hopefully we'll have a whole cycle of the sonatas soon. He has recorded 21 of the 32 sonatas now on EMI and this has the potential of becoming the best version of the greatest music known to man. There is only one letdown among those, the sonata no 32 where I wish he would have listened a bit more to Schnabel's more sesitive and lyrical touch. In these sonatas however he is better than his closest competitors Schnabel and Kempff. He has the clarity, the playfullness and the technique. He avoids Kempff's somewhat too stiff treatments and sometimes to slow approach. Schnabel probably still earns his nickname "Master of the Adagio", but he sometimes blurred the notes in the fast passages, something we never hear from Kovacevich. He doesn't try to dazzle the listener with his technique, even though he accomplishes that in difficult passages (here most noteworthy in no 16), where one can hear that he doesn't have to exert himself. These versions are even better than the ones he made on Phillips in the 70's. Here he shows the neccessary ingredients of being able to play strictly classical, romantically raging and at the same time apply a sense of humour. Schnabel said this music is better than it can be played, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. The somewhat jumpy no 16, the mysterious Tempest(not many can make the arpeggios sound coherent) and the gay and beutiful Hunt. My only complaint is that the pianosound is a little too shrill, which is strange coming from a Steinway.
A Hockeyfan
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply superb Jan. 14 2002
By Kurt Randerath - Published on Amazon.com
I agree with the music fan from Stockholm. This is a superb performance. Even the least known and least played of the three sonatas (no. 1) comes to life in the hands of Mr. Kovacevich. Compared with other popular performances of these works (for example, by Brendel, Ashkenazy, O'Conor), superlatives apply to Kovacevich's performances. The words unsurpassed, brilliant, magnificent, exhilarating, and dramatic come to mind. If you think you have heard these Beethoven sonatas before, think again. You will change your mind after listening to Mr. Kovacevich. In agreement with the reviewer from Sweden, I also find the recording a little shrill at times. The sound of other recordings (e.g O'Conor) is better. Also, the accompanying booklet needs rewriting.
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars definitive!!! Dec 25 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I have not listened to this particular cd!but going by the other sets of kovacevich's performances of beethoven's piano sonatas(sonata nos30,12,19,20,27,28,32)one can safely buy the complete set!coming to the sonata no17,the TEMPEST,i have recordings by gilels,pollini and BARENBOIM.The gilels is too dry,the one by pollini is better but the best is by BARENBOIM in an EMI recording.This performance by barenboim is full of coiled fury with pregnant pauses which hightens the dramatic impact.it is hard to see how this performance can be surpassed!
I would also recommend the excellent recordings of the beethoven piano sonatas by the argentinian pianist ALFREDO PERL on the NOVA ART label.Perl's tempos are just right and he plays with the right blend of sensitive lyricism and athletic vigour,without interpretative exageration!the sound quality is top class!
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