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Sonata No. 13/Ballad No. 4 (Claudio Arrau)


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1 new from £14.35

Product details

  • Audio CD (17 Jan 2000)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Aura
  • ASIN: B000050J5C
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,618,743 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Dickerson on 11 Nov 2005
Claudio Arrau has always been a champion of Franz Liszt. Here, in a 1971 live performance taped for Swiss-Italian Radio, he gives an incendiary account of the composer's masterpiece, the Sonata in B minor. Arrau recorded the same work in the studio a year beforehand (available as part of the Philips 50 series), and whilst it is indeed a great note perfect performance, I find it is somewhat tame and a tad sterile. This particular musical document just goes to show what twelve months on the road in support of a studio recording can achieve. Arrau has now honed this beast of a composition to perfection and starts to take risks in his performance. It's time to start getting excited, folks! Naturally, as with all exuberant playing, a missed note here and there is inevitable, but the performance itself is enhanced immeasurably with a dazzingly display of keyboard pyrotechnics not found on the measured studio recording. Arrau, pianistically speaking, was never a heavy-handed power player, but on certain passages in this sonata, he explodes with such ferocity, the microphones pick up his breathing exertions. I am sure even the flash, playboy master himself, Franz Liszt, would have joined in the deafening applause at the end. A truly memorable occasion it must have been. I only wish I had been present at the concert myself.
Given the ridiculously low price of this CD, I would not only recommend this to all Liszt enthusiasts, but to individuals interested in great pianism. Today's keyboard specialists could not hold a candle to the sublime, Claudio Arrau. Even if the Liszt refuses to whet the appetite, the other selections, Beethoven and Chopin are played impeccably with real insight and feeling. What a bargain! Order yourself a copy of this CD, before it goes out of print!
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