Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 29, Piano Sonata No. 31

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 29, Piano Sonata No. 31

by Rudolf Serkin
     
 
The playing of pianist Rudolf Serkin often elicits strong opinions from two rather distinct camps. His technical abilities at the instrument have often come into question; he himself noted that he was not so much of a pianist as an interpreter. This is especially true in his many performances of the Beethoven sonatas, including the live

Overview

The playing of pianist Rudolf Serkin often elicits strong opinions from two rather distinct camps. His technical abilities at the instrument have often come into question; he himself noted that he was not so much of a pianist as an interpreter. This is especially true in his many performances of the Beethoven sonatas, including the live performances of Opp. 106 and 110 heard on this BBC Legends album. The question for listeners is whether or not any interpretive powers that Serkin possesses outweigh his rather obvious and technical shortcomings. Particularly in live performance, Serkin can be heard missing notes (or adding too many), struggling with octaves, and forcing his way through demanding passagework. His overall approach to these two late, great sonatas is rather angular, particularly in fast movements. Serkin's interpretation, however, does have a rather uncanny ability to draw listeners in and even hear things in Beethoven that may have gone unnoticed in the past. Whether a Serkin fan or not, this particular recording is technically weak even for Serkin. The recorded sound quality is rather thin and treble heavy.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/16/2008
Label:
Bbc Legends
UPC:
0684911424126
catalogNumber:
4241

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Piano Sonata No. 29 in B flat major ("Hammerklavier"), Op. 106  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - John Patrick
  2. Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - John Patrick

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