ALBUM TITLE: Beethoven
WORKS: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 6: No. 16 in G, Op. 31/1; No. 29 in B flat, Op. 106 (Hammerklavier)
PERFORMER: Garrick Ohlsson (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 9262
Garrick Ohlsson’s Beethoven cycle promises to be the most distinguished in recent years, one of the most outstanding instalments being Vol. 5 reviewed above. Unfortunately the same can’t quite be said for Vol. 6, recorded ten years ago on yet another instrument. Ohlsson’s approach to the Hammerklavier Sonata, Op. 106, the longest and most demanding of the whole series, certainly doesn’t compromise; but quite often where Beethoven is astoundingly audacious Ohlsson is just quirky and abrupt. He doesn’t have the measure of the work’s incredible ambition and grandeur; and Beethovenian pathos with him is more Chopinesque.