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This section is not intended to be a review of existing CDs. Good critics have done this already, and are experts on the subject. I just wish to draw your attention to particular works and interpretations.
Title The complete sonatas for piano by Claudio Arrau
Beethoven: complete piano Sonatas
Philips - 11 cds

Claudio Arrau is an enigmatic figure of the older generation. A rigorous and virtuosic pianist, he shares his sensibilities and performances of very great quality.

This man appreciates Beethoven and his work: he wants to live to 111 so that he can perform opus 111 for his birthday. His humanity and his feelings transpire in his music.

A sober and respectable piano sonata cycle.
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Title The complete sonatas for piano by Abdel Rahman el Bacha
Beethoven: complete piano Sonatas
Forlane - 9 cds

Away from the media frenzy, Abdel Rahman el Bacha is a sensitive man who, through his music, communicates to us his passions and sentiments.

El Bacha is the opposite of violent and aggressive performances: his playing his soft and light.

In his hands, the music is a festival. With his technical mastery and extremely sensitive tone, this great pianist proves to us that he is a fantastic interpreter of Beethoven.

A remarkable collection to which to listen to again and again.
Title The complete sonatas for piano by Georges Pludermacher
Beethoven: complete piano Sonatas
Abeille musique - 10 cds

Georges Pludermacher is a renowned virtuoso. Often original, always demanding, his playing combines power, agility, and profound sentiment.

The sonority which he gives to the music he performs is warm and delicate.

This collection of Beethoven sonatas was recorded in public during the “Flâneries Musicales d’Eté de Reims”. Pludermacher plays on a Steinway piano equipped with a 4 th harmonic pedal. Try something different!
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TitleSonatas for piano, by Arthur Pizarro

The four most famous piano sonatas of Beethoven are met again on this CD:

Pathetique, Clair de Lune, Tempest and Appassionata.

The performer is a remarkable virtuoso and if he fast tempo are not done to impress, the listener cannot but be impressed by the avalanche of notes, all clear and distinct.

Like a virtuoso, Arthur Pizarro adds emotion. The great Beethoven!

Cd Beethoven
Linn records - 2003

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Title Some sonatas for Piano
Cd Beethoven

Inger Södergren is a talented interpreter. With her CD you are never in the presence of an 'ordinary' recording of the Sonate Waldstein.

The finesse, the delicacy and the love which are transmitted in the pianist's perfomance are palpable and catch the listener's heart, giving surprises, beauty and pleasure.

It is easy to imagine that Beethoven would have said of this artist: "Here is someone who has understood me"...

The three CDs by Beethoven, edited by Calliope and interpreted by Inger Södergren:

- "Moonlight, Pathetique, Tempest and Appassionata", recording in 1980 and 1991, edited in 1997;

Cd Beethoven

Cd Beethoven

- "The Last Three Sonatas";

- "Waldstein, Les Adieux and the Sonata opus 90", CD recorded and put on sale in 2001...

We await for more...
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Title Young works for piano

Here is a cd which collects the piano works of Beethoven written between 1782 (12 years) and 1793 (23 years):

  • Sonata in F major "Kurfürsten Sonata", WoO 47/2;
  • Sonata (unfinished) in C major "Eleonorem Sonata", WoO 51;
  • Rondo in B flat major, Anhang 6;
  • Sonata in E flat major, "Kurfürsten Sonata", WoO 47/1;
  • Rondo (Allegretto) in C major, WoO 48;
  • Rondo (Allegretto) in A major, WoO 49;
  • Sonata in D major "Kurfürsten Sonata", WoO 47/3…
Cd Beethoven
François-Joël Thiollet
Grave - 1999
Title “Hammerklavier” sonata arranged for orchestra by Weingartner

Recorded in 1930, this version of the “Hammerklavier” for orchestra is less surprising. On the CD we are able to hear:

  • Concerto for piano, violin, cello and orchestra in C major (“Triple Concerto”), opus 56;
  • Sonata for piano no. 29 in B flat major, “Hammerklavier”, opus 106, arranged for orchestra by Felix Weingartner.

Certainly a curiosity!

Works performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with Stefan Auber cello, Angelica Morales piano, Ricardo Odnoposoff violin, and conducted by Felix Weingartner.


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Title “Moonlight” sonata arranged for orchestra by Stokowski

Leopold Stokowski was not only the conductor of 'Fantasia' for Walt Disney. He was also chief conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra for 20 years, and made this one of the great orchestras of the world.

Attentive to quality of sound, with his notable recordings, always at the point of technology, he also made a number of transcriptions for orchestra.

If a number of voices have been raised in criticism of this initiative, perhaps some of them are inspired by jealousy...

And meanwhile, and for you to form your own opinion, here is the arrangement by Stokowski of the the Adagio of the Sonata opus 27-2 for piano by Beethoven, the 'Moonlight' sonata.

Telarc - 1994

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Many thanks to Hannah SALTER and Melanie PIDDOCKE
for their translations of this page from French into English
© Dominique PREVOT
Music Sheet Plus

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