on 29 November 2013
Sony has remastered this 1967 RCA recording by master pianist John Ogdon--wow! Both the Beethoven and Nielsen are great showcases for his effortless virtuosity and probing interpretations. As expected, Ogdon revels in the contrapuntal density of these pieces and clearly articulates every line. Some of his delicate playing in Nielsen's Chaconne is absolutely breath-taking. He takes a rather deliberate tempo in the Hammerklavier's fugal last movement, but it adds clarity and power. These pieces were recorded at the height of Ogdon's powers before his tragic schizophrenia derailed him for a while. As far as I know these performances have only been available on LP--Sony's 24 bit/96khz remastering makes them sound almost new.
on 14 January 2014
Another disc to remind us what a loss the world of music suffered in John Ogden. The Hammerklavier is wonderful, as good as any I've heard. It bursts with energy and virtuosity. The third movement is beautiful, great power alternating with great control and musicianship. The somewhat deranged fugal last movement hangs together and makes sense, not always the case. The Nielsen pieces are musically slighter, but enjoyable nonetheless. I'm glad I bought this - it seems to get even better every time I play it. It could well be my desert island Hammerklavier.
on 23 February 2014
This is a treasure! John Ogden was a gifted pianist and a true musician. At his best he played with passion and precision.
In his all too short life he gave such pleasure to those who heard him play. The Beethoven shows both strength, and gentleness of playing - something missing from the 'technical perfection' of some of his successors. More of this artist, please.