The best recordings by pianist Paul Lewis

We name the greatest recordings by British pianist Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis

Beethoven: Diabelli Variations 

David Cairns of The Sunday Times once said that there is nothing more exhilarating than a good performance of the Diabelli Variations, and Paul Lewis’s is nothing short of outstanding. Dynamic and sensitive, his playing throughout maintains its vibrant energy, which delivers the quite unmissable recording that earned him the accolade of BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Month in July 2011. Click here for disc details and a full review.

Advertisement

Complete Beethoven Sonatas

Essential when getting to grips with Lewis’s recordings, this award-winning collection of recordings (released initially in four volumes) was consistently given four or five stars by our critics, one of whom said: ‘Paul Lewis is a serious artist, and the quality of his playing, beautifully captured by Harmonia Mundi’s engineers, is of a very high standard throughout.’ Click here for disc details of the fourth volume of this set and a full review.

Schubert: Piano Sonata in A, D959; Piano Sonata in B flat, D960

After embarking on a two year project in 2011 to perform all the mature piano works from the last 6 years of Schubert’s life across the globe, it is fair to say Lewis is a leading interpreter of the composer’s piano sonatas. Our critic said of this disc: ‘Lewis’s playing is remarkable, both for technical control and depth of understanding’. Click here for disc details and a full review.

Schubert: Piano Sonatas D840, D850, D894 & Impromptus D899

In this recording Lewis further demonstrates his affinity with Schubert’s late sonatas on Nos 15, 17 and 18 with the addition of Four Impromptus and the Klavierstücke. Our critic said: ‘I enjoyed every moment of these two superbly recorded discs…These are model accounts, in which Lewis, clearly a modest man, is intent on keeping himself out of the picture’. Click here for disc details.

Beethoven: Complete Piano Concertos (BBC Symphony Orchestra)
Lewis’s performance of the complete concertos at the 2010 Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and this subsequent recording brought him widespread acclaim. Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times wrote: ‘Though the catalogue of Beethoven concerto recordings is crowded, this new set is an exciting addition.’ Here Lewis demonstrates a fascinating ability to display his spotless technique while remaining modest in his approach to virtuosity. Click here for disc details and a full review.

Advertisement

Polly Bartlett