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

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COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: The Divine Art
ALBUM TITLE: Beethoven – Piano Sonatas
WORKS: Piano Sonatas Op. 13, 27/2, 57
PERFORMER: Anthony Goldstone
CATALOGUE NO: 25029
It was shrewd of Anthony Goldstone

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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

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to convey. Misha Donat