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Piano Sonatas [Import]

Beethoven , Kovacevich Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 13.77
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1. Piano Sonata No. 5 In C Minor. Op. 10 No.1: I: Allegro molto e con Brio
2. Piano Sonata No. 5 In C Minor. Op. 10 No.1: II: Adagio molto
3. Piano Sonata No. 5 In C Minor. Op. 10 No.1: III: Finale (Prestissimo)
4. Piano Sonata No. 6 In F. Op. 10 No.2: I: Allegro
5. Piano Sonata No. 6 In F. Op. 10 No.2: II: Allegretto
6. Piano Sonata No. 6 In F. Op. 10 No.2: III: Presto
7. Piano Sonata No. 7 In D. Op. 10 No.3: I: Presto
8. Piano Sonata No. 7 In D. Op. 10 No.3: II: Largo e mesto
9. Piano Sonata No. 7 In D. Op. 10 No.3: III: Menuetto (Allegro)
10. Piano Sonata No. 7 In D. Op. 10 No.3: IV: Rondo (Allegro)
11. Piano Sonata No. 15 In D. Op. 28 'Pastoral': I: Allegro
12. Piano Sonata No. 15 In D. Op. 28 'Pastoral': II: Andante
13. Piano Sonata No. 15 In D. Op. 28 'Pastoral': III: Scherzo (Allegro vivace)
14. Piano Sonata No. 15 In D. Op. 28 'Pastoral': IV: Rondo (Allegro ma non troppo)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

During the course of his exemplary survey of Beethoven sonatas, Stephen Kovacevich appears to have acquired the voice of Beethoven himself. The recording almost ignites with the C Minor Sonata (No. 5), in which Kovacevich balances the inflammable outlying movements with the more graceful expanses of the "Adagio Molto". One of Beethoven's personal favourites, the humorous F Major Sonata (No. 6) offers evidence of the composer's connection with earlier Viennese masters such as Haydn and Mozart--the dance-like "Allegretto" and the vivacious "Presto" leap with particular immediacy. The Op. 28 Pastoral receives a graceful performance--consider the disciplined, tautly-sprung rhythm of the "Andante", or the immaculate detail in the development section of the "Allegro". Kovacevich saves his best performance, however, for Sonata No. 7 in D: pitting antecedent against consequent phrase in swift succession, the pianist investigates the score's multiple voices while maintaining a rhythmic pulse that asserts a foothold in our minds ("Presto"). Anticipating the introspection, serenity, and subtlety of Beethoven's third-period works, Kovacevich's reading of "Largo e mesto" is the highlight of the disc. The pianist saturates himself so thoroughly in the drama that the entire sonata becomes, in effect, a symphony, with all of the tension and compactness that the term implies. When the concluding "Rondo" is reached, Kovacevich has moved by the most authentic of paths to close the circle of Beethoven's thought. EMI's sound is forward and bright, with sufficient space for the pianist to display his ample genius. --Kevin Mulhall

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe four and a half... Nov. 18 2002
Format:Audio CD
I think the highlight of this disc is the #5 (op.10/1) sonata. Kovacevich is really in his element in the first movement, which is full of tension, drama and nervous energy, and in light of which the interpretation of the rest of the sonata falls into place. The performance #6 is a likeable performance of a very likeable minor sonata, though as often with the earlier sonatas I think I prefer Kempff. I won't comment on #7, because for some reason I'm not very fond of the piece.
I have mixed feelings about Kovacevich's Pastorale. The notes point out that the name "Pastorale" was given to the sonata by Beethoven's publisher, not by Beethoven himself. Kovacevich's interpretation sometimes sounds as though he is out to prove the publisher wrong, with (e.g.) cadences that sound oddly vehement in the first movement and an emphasis on the "modern" sound of the harmonies of the coda (I think) in the last movement. The problem for me is that there are very successful decidedly pastoral readings of the sonata out there (I think it's one of the best things in Kempff's complete set, for instance), and I'm not sure Kovacevich's reading adds up to a convincing alternative conception, if in fact that's what he's trying to do.
This might be contrasted to his recording of the Waldstein or Schubert D. 959, where he emphasizes the tensions and overall the darker side of these pieces, with oustanding results in my opinion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Aug. 17 2001
Format:Audio CD
Kovacevich plays with remarkable clarity and control throughout this exemplary recording. His style is completely free from affectation, yet always intense, characterful and energetic. The "Pastoral" Sonata in particular has a sublime richness that lingers in the memory. In fact I can't think of any other pianist who combines technical accuracy and interpretive insight in any of these works as convincingly as Kovacevich does. In my humble opinion, a must buy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite! Feb. 21 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
If you have 12 versions of these sonatas, you should still buy this one. I do not know of a better interpretation. Sound is as good as the performance.
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5.0 out of 5 stars aMAZING Sept. 1 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
tHIS CD IS ABsolutely amazing. He plays the c- sonata with such fire. Also, listen to his cd of the pathetique. It is the best Ever(the cd is also by emi). Lets hope he finishes recording the whole cycle,
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars aMAZING Sept. 1 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
tHIS CD IS ABsolutely amazing. He plays the c- sonata with such fire. Also, listen to his cd of the pathetique. It is the best Ever(the cd is also by emi). Lets hope he finishes recording the whole cycle,
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe four and a half... Nov. 18 2002
By "ibell21" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I think the highlight of this disc is the #5 (op.10/1) sonata. Kovacevich is really in his element in the first movement, which is full of tension, drama and nervous energy, and in light of which the interpretation of the rest of the sonata falls into place. The performance #6 is a likeable performance of a very likeable minor sonata, though as often with the earlier sonatas I think I prefer Kempff. I won't comment on #7, because for some reason I'm not very fond of the piece.
I have mixed feelings about Kovacevich's Pastorale. The notes point out that the name "Pastorale" was given to the sonata by Beethoven's publisher, not by Beethoven himself. Kovacevich's interpretation sometimes sounds as though he is out to prove the publisher wrong, with (e.g.) cadences that sound oddly vehement in the first movement and an emphasis on the "modern" sound of the harmonies of the coda (I think) in the last movement. The problem for me is that there are very successful decidedly pastoral readings of the sonata out there (I think it's one of the best things in Kempff's complete set, for instance), and I'm not sure Kovacevich's reading adds up to a convincing alternative conception, if in fact that's what he's trying to do.
This might be contrasted to his recording of the Waldstein or Schubert D. 959, where he emphasizes the tensions and overall the darker side of these pieces, with oustanding results in my opinion.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite! Feb. 21 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
If you have 12 versions of these sonatas, you should still buy this one. I do not know of a better interpretation. Sound is as good as the performance.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Aug. 17 2001
By Brian E Bragg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Kovacevich plays with remarkable clarity and control throughout this exemplary recording. His style is completely free from affectation, yet always intense, characterful and energetic. The "Pastoral" Sonata in particular has a sublime richness that lingers in the memory. In fact I can't think of any other pianist who combines technical accuracy and interpretive insight in any of these works as convincingly as Kovacevich does. In my humble opinion, a must buy.
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