View Poll Results: Who is your favourite interpreter of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas?

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  • Arrau

    4 7.41%
  • Kempff

    7 12.96%
  • Gilels

    12 22.22%
  • Goode

    3 5.56%
  • Lewis

    2 3.70%
  • Brendel

    2 3.70%
  • Fischer

    1 1.85%
  • Barenboim

    1 1.85%
  • Backhaus

    1 1.85%
  • Schnabel

    1 1.85%
  • Kovacevich

    1 1.85%
  • Gulda

    4 7.41%
  • Serkin

    2 3.70%
  • Pollini

    4 7.41%
  • Other

    9 16.67%
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Thread: Who is your favourite interpreter of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas?

  1. #46
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    Philips died as a label, so the latest two or so cd box issues of the 1960s Philips Arrau are under the Decca label.

    Thanks for the Kocsis links, I had not been aware of the op.81a and 90, maybe there are a few more live performances with Kocsis floating around. I have an op.111 on DVD.

    The single Philips disc by Kocsis is a great favorite of mine, although maybe a bit on the fast and relentless side, but the opp.2/1 and 10/1 might be my favorite recordings of these pieces.
    Last edited by Kreisler jr; Aug-12-2021 at 09:25.

  2. #47
    Senior Member advokat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerWaters View Post
    Yes many new cycles are omitted as polls are limited to 15 options, but I must admit I've never heard of the new cycles you mention here so I will investigate.

    Fischer was not omitted but I should have been clearer 'Fischer' meant Annie.

    I'm very surprised Arrau is not getting more love.

    His Tempest, Waldstein (panoramic where other pianists can use this sonata as a perfect opportunity use the keyboard to go 'bang'), Appasionata (see below), and his late sonatas (particularly 30-32) strike me as unrivelled.

    Gilels is currently my go to for a limited number of sonatas (14, 16, 18, 26 and 28, for example) but he strikes me as overly cool and detached in some of the later ones and idiosyncratic in some of the earlier ones (4, third movement; 5, first movement; 6, second movement; 11, first movement).
    1. Yes, Gilels can sound cool - after all, the contemporaries called his style "a diamond sound" - brilliant, superbly defined, but hard and cool.
    2. Lucchesini is, IMO, good. His cycle (live) is available as a single file download on Presto, I am not sure CDs exist.
    3. Mezhueva's (or Mejoueva's, in French transliteration) CDs are not easy to get. She has married to Japan, and records on Japanese labels not easily available in Europe. One can try specialised sites that sell CDs from Japan and South Korea. But it is worth trying, she is very very good. Her first cycle was already excellent. If you want a taste of her playing, Presto has various albums (not many, and not LvB music) for download. Amazon has some stuff as well, but they ship from Japan, as I understand, delivery is uncertain (from my experience).
    Last edited by advokat; Aug-25-2021 at 20:22.

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  4. #48
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    What do you all think of the Friedrich gulda mono cycle?

  5. #49
    Junior Member Ice Berg's Avatar
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    I am personally a Gulda fanatic.

  6. #50
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dilandau View Post
    What do you all think of the Friedrich gulda mono cycle?
    Do you mean the first Decca cycle or the one on Orfeo? I think that both aren't as interesting as his stereo cycle (the one that was on Amadeo, and has since been issued on both Brilliant and Eloquence).

  7. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by advokat View Post
    2. Lucchesini is, IMO, good. His cycle (live) is available as a single file download on Presto, I am not sure CDs exist.
    They did at some stage, but probably the set is hard to find even used by now. I have just listened to all or almost all of it. For some reason I didn't quite appreciate Lucchesini so much when I got it more than 10 years ago. But I liked it quite a bit this time. There some questionable points (e.g. a cavalier attitude towards repeats that hurts some balances, the very first sonata becomes even more lopsided when the brief first movement is played without any repeat) and the live sound may not be the best (although I found it mostly quite pleasant). Lucchesini often manages to combine a "great sweep" with care for details without appearing mannered or fuzzy.

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  9. #52
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    What a huge loss that Gilels did not managed to complete recording his cycle.

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  11. #53
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    I just discovered Boris Giltburg's youtube account, where he is posting his interpretation of all 32 sonatas. Right now he's uploaded up to No. 30, so only 2 more to end the project.

    I'm enjoying his playing a lot -- and he adds really good (and lengthy) commentary for each sonata in the description of the videos.

    Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/c/BorisGiltburgPiano/videos

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  13. #54
    Member ToneDeaf&Senile's Avatar
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    For the sonatas as a whole, the most consistently satisfactory performance is, for me, that of Ronald Brautigam on fortepiano. As far as individual sontatas performances, I'm quite partial to some of Pollini's. Other pianists as well.

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  15. #55
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    My current favorite - Buchbinder - is not on the ballot. I have his box set which I greatly enjoy. I have a few other complete sets too.
    R. Serkin is another top favorite though he did not record a complete set.
    Following those two I would rate Kempff and then Lucchesini.

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  17. #56
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post
    My current favorite - Buchbinder - is not on the ballot. I have his box set which I greatly enjoy. I have a few other complete sets.
    There’s a third Buchbinder cycle being issued next month by DG.

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