Beethoven: Piano Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 27/2 (Moonlight); Piano Sonata in C, Op. 53 (Waldstein); Piano Sonata in F minor, Op. 57 (Appassionata)

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: Virgin
WORKS: Piano Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 27/2 (Moonlight); Piano Sonata in C, Op. 53 (Waldstein); Piano Sonata in F minor, Op. 57 (Appassionata)
PERFORMER: Mikhail Pletnev (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: VC 5 45131 2 DDD (1989)
What a superb pianist Pletnev is. Occasionally quirky (as in his recent revelatory Scarlatti recording), he has the power to rivet the attention, even in works as familiar as this. The pianism itself is pretty stunning, though this isn’t, of course, what one looks for first in a Beethoven player. But all the other requisite qualities are here too: a commanding grasp of large-scale structure with no sacrifice of foreground detail, a wide-ranging tonal palette never indulged for its own sake, a muscular approach to rhythm which nevertheless avoids anything divisive or stodgy and a convincing blend of poetry and heroism. A winner in every way. Jeremy Siepmann

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