Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op. 13, 27/2, 57

Album title:
Beethoven - Piano Sonatas
Composer(s):
Beethoven
Works:
Piano Sonatas Op. 13, 27/2, 57
Performer:
Anthony Goldstone
Label:
The Divine Art
Catalogue Number:
25029
Performance:
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Sound:
starstarstarstarnostar
3
Reviewer:
BBC Music Magazine
It was shrewd of Anthony Goldstone to throw in a curiosity among the ubiquitous Moonlight, Pathétique and Appassionata Sonatas. Ignaz Moscheles was just 20 when he made the piano arrangement of Fidelio under Beethoven’s watchful eye. Goldstone gives an accomplished account of the Overture, though it’s no real substitute for the orchestral score. In the Pathétique he follows Rudolf Serkin on Sony (and, more recently, András Schiff on Decca, though currently deleted) by incorporating the slow introduction into the exposition repeat. Musically, there’s much to be said for it, but for those who aren’t convinced Goldstone also offers an alternative version of the first movement, with the repeat conventionally placed at the start of the Allegro. The performance itself is a little hurried, and lacking in tension. There’s more that could be drawn out of the slow movement. Stephen Kovacevich, for instance, plays it as a genuine Adagio rather than a flowing Andante, and finds considerably more depth in the music. Goldstone is impatient in the opening movement of the Moonlight, too, and his touch is distinctly heavy for a piece Beethoven wanted played very delicately. Maria João Pires responds more readily to the music’s atmosphere and poetry, making it into something truly memorable. Goldstone is more at home in the turbulent outer movements of the Appassionata, and there’s much to enjoy in his performance, though in the last resort it doesn’t have quite the sense of subdued tension that a pianist such as Alfred Brendel is able to convey. Misha Donat