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adama (london, UK)

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Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas
Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.26

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without doubt, one of the finest new recordings, 3 Feb 2014
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I can add little to the other reviews, save to confirm that as a collector with all the 'great' recordings (and quite a few odd others), this should be in the collection of anyone who adores the LvB sonatas.

Igor Levit has superb poise, fantastic dynamic control, and evident thoughtfulness in his interpretations. Every time I thought he was going too fast or slow, when I looked at the timings I realised he has Horowitz's ability to defy your senses. Horowitz was ill-matched to Beethoven, but he could balance a mountain on a pinhead, pianistically, and if this is what Levit can achieve now, heaven knows what breadth and depth he will achieve in maturity.

Five stars or more to Igor Levit, but zero stars to whichever dull and ungrateful suit at Sony decided that the CD booklet should comprise a long-winded, grandiose, but by definition speculative essay on Beethoven's psyche during the period of the late sonatas (as if we need another), but not a single word - not one! - about the illustrious young pianist who gave us these superb performances.

Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2
Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WTC recording to treasure, 24 Sep 2012
Tatiana Nikolayeva's playing of Bach so impressed Shostokovich that he dedicated his own Op 87 Preludes and Fugues to her, and indeed her recording of them is probably the finest ever.

Nikolayeva's Bach is not the piercing, analytical, electric shock of Glenn Gould, but a more monumental Bach, carved carefully in granite by an artist who clearly adores and understands the beauty of this music. This is a personal, intimate interpretation, sometimes a little slow, but never without respect and full of expression. I love Gould's scintillating recording of the WTC, and treasure Fischer's heartfelt if wobbly early discs, but when I want to take a little more time and immerse myself in this magisterial work, Nikolayeva's recording fits the bill.

For those concerned with recording details, the Book 1 discs were recorded at the Imaichi Hall in Tokyo in 1984 by JVC, and Book 2 at the same venue the following year, the 300th anniversary of J S Bach's birth. The MK Russian re-release of the recordings were issued in 1991. Early digital - sound quality not perfect but good.

The Carnegie Hall Concert
The Carnegie Hall Concert
Price: £25.11

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful concert, but excessive live applause spoils CD., 6 Nov 2011
One of KJ's recent live best. From propulsive and infectious rhythms to the most intimate dialogues, you sense it's Jarrett enjoying himself, as well as delivering one of his most intense recent recordings. It's great to hear him like this again.

Sadly, for me the CD is flawed by the artist and/or producers insistence on including the entire applause between tracks, especially the 'encores'. This is sometimes as loud and almost as long as the actual musical performances. We'd all love to 'be there', but to insist that listeners at home sit through this is just pretentious.

Keith Jarrett @ Carnegie: 9/10, ECM production: 6/10 irritating.

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