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Alfred Brendel Plays Beethoven: Piano Sonatas

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (1 Oct. 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Vox
  • ASIN: B000001K2I
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 382,209 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Disc 2
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This set and the three companion volumes come from the first of Alfred Brendel's three Beethoven cycles. The playing is outstanding - for my money even better than his excellent cycles from the 70s and 90s. Brendel's strength is his ability to create genuine, deeply thought, personal interpretations, without ever going into wilfulness or eccentricity.

The downside? Two things. The recording (analogue, from the 60s), is aceptable rather than great; if digital, crystal clarity is a must this isn't for you. And after listening to this set for a couple of years, I realised that two sonatas, 4 & 20, are missing...!

That said, the playing is the equal of any of the better known, more widely recommended cycles. I love these sonatas, and I've listened to most of the 'great' recordings; but I keep coming back to this set. And when you consider that in amazon marketplace you can buy the four volumes for less than four pounds each, this has to be the ultimate bargain.
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Format: Audio CD
While I feel compelled not to comment on such incredulous artistry as it would seem futile, I will just say that as a human experience, this disc is truly overwhelming. Never have I heard such purity combined with poetry in Hammerklavier or even more so, the arietta of Opus 111. Moving and triumphant at the same time, what an incomparable artist Solomon was (is)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I agree with everything the previous reviewer praises about these sterling performances although the digital sound on the latest Philips rendering of sonatas like "The Tempest" does add an extra dimension.
If you want the complete sonatas on Vox, you need also to acquire the 3 CD box of "Variations & Vignettes". This includes opp7 & 49/2.
At the ridiculously low prices from some of the Marketplace sellers, why not get this and the Diabelli Variations twofer and you've got all LvB's solo works on 13CDs in superb Brendel readings at minimal price.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 15 reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant and confident execution by Brendel 2 July 2000
By Lincoln-63542 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I was looking for Ivan Moravec's Late Piano Sonatas when I found this one. I bought it because the price was right (two CD's for the price of one!) and the performer was a first rated pianist (what can I lose?). My only concern had to do with how bad the sound would be, but since this CD was also including the lovely and enigmatic "Hammerklavier" Sonata.... I decided to take a risk. There was no Review available and I had to further information. When I listened to it I could not believe my ears! I thought it was "too good to be true". The sound is excellent in the CD and the young Brendel gave his best in these performances. I fell so compelled with these renditions that I went out and bought the other three albums and had the same satisfaction. A quality recording from a Brendel that mesmerizes in his enchanting and sure execution of Beethoven's Sonatas. Certainly a Great Buy!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Early Brendel 29 Oct. 2006
By Douglas Broehl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I think that Brendel's early Beethoven recordings are underrated and have not been given the credit they deserve. Some of the bad reviews here at Amazon are unwarranted. Brendel's playing here is excellent. I compared these recordings with Goode's "Late Sonatas" CD and found Goode to be lacking in every respect. Brendel has a wonderful understanding of all the nuances of the score, and contrary to what Brendel's detractors say, his playing is not cold and aloof. To the contrary, I found his playing lively and great attention to detail is seen throughout this entire cycle. The numerous shifts in tone and feel that Beethoven put into each peice are picked up by Brendel. The sound is very good also. The mic is close to the piano and there is hardly any echoing, which means the sound is clear and direct. Everyone may not like this set, but I am very happy with it and I believe it is one of the best Beethoven cycles around.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Bang for the Buck 10 Dec. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The question is what you are after. If it's bang for the buck you are after, look no further. If it's the bang that you are after, read on. These 1962 recordings of Beethoven's late sonatas are Brendel's first. He was already a great pianist but what he learned since then is immeasurable! Since then he recorded Beethoven's late sonatas 2 more times; in the seventies (which I have not listen to) and then in December of 1995 (by Philips). His 1995 recording is the closest to perfection you would ever get. A great pianist is one who never stops learning. Brendel is exactly that.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Whole Brendel VOX Beethoven Sonata Collection 2 April 2014
By Frank D. V. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This collection is more for a study. Brendel's interpretations of Beethoven reveal the structure behind his Sonatas, and are terrific to listen to as a study. However, I would never suggest Brendel's Beethoven for the emotion, depth, or power of his Sonatas. Listening to Brendel's Beethoven is much like analyzing Bach via the Fibonacci series: You'll understand the technicality of it, the genius of it, the structure of it, but you'll miss the humanity and emotion of it.

I much prefer Brendel for the Classical era which is where I believe he excels. The early Beethoven Sonatas are much easier to listen to than his later Sonatas by Brendel.

However, if price is an issue and you are just dying to get a complete collection of the Beethoven Sonatas, then you can't go wrong with all the volumes in this collection. It is by far the best bang for your buck, and you'll get a solid performance from Mr. Brendel.

The only reason why I can not give four stars is because I hardly get any emotion out of his playing. And to me, playing the likes of Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, et al without emotion is like painting a rainbow in black and white: What's the point?
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 1 May 2013
By Richard Roth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A different approach by Brendel then the set by Serkin. Brendel plays every note perfectly and although a little stiff captures the Beethoven mood perfectly. I own both the Serkin and Brendel sets and play both equally. Perfect music.
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