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  • Beethoven: Complete Sonatas Vol. 3 - Sonatas 23-32
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Beethoven: Complete Sonatas Vol. 3 - Sonatas 23-32

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Audio CD, June 1, 2004
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Product Description

Over the past two generations, Seymour Lipkin has been hailed by connoisseurs and revered by his colleagues as a pianist of rare cogency, authority and musical wisdom. Studying at the prestigious Curtis Institute, Mr. Lipkin developed his immaculate virtu. Newport Classic.2004

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Lipkin's performances are uneven. He is regrettably inconsistent in his use of repeats. (This listener wants them all.) He tames the early Sonatas, playing graciously but without their startling innovative quality. Most of the works in the Op. 20s are beautifully performed, although the opening movement of the "Moonlight" is too dreamy and slow and the finale too mild. Op. 26 and 28 are wonderful, and so are similarly lyrical, contemplative pieces like Op. 81a and Op. 101. The big challenges are met with limited success. The "Waldstein" and "Appassionata" lack excitement; the "Hammerklavier" is fine until the final fugue, which comes across with little power. Op. 109 and 110 are very much underplayed, and then Op. 111 is a bold, visionary performance. Go figure. The supplementary materials include a long, informative essay by Ted Libbey, a brief bio of the performer, and scores of all of the music, although in a rather heavily edited edition. This isn't the ultimate recording of Beethoven's piano sonatas (go to Goode on Nonesuch for a modern recording, Schnabel on Naxos and Nat on EMI on EMI for unique insights). But it certainly offers a lot of material for 34 bucks! --Leslie Gerber [This review refers to the uniquely packaged complete Lipkin Beethoven cycle contained on one CD-ROM.]

Disc: 1
1. 1 Allegro Assai - Piu Allegro
2. 2 Andante Con Moto
3. 3 Allegro Ma Non Troppo - Presto
4. 1 Adagio Cantabile - Allegro Ma Non Troppo
5. 2 Allegro Vivace
6. 1 Presto Alla Tedesca
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. 1 Allegretto Ma Non Troppo
2. 2 Vivace Alla Marcia
3. 3 Adagio, Ma Non Troppo, Con Affetto
4. 4 Tempo Del Primo Pezzo - Allegro
5. 1 Allegro
6. 2 Scherzo: Assai Vivace - Presto - Tempo I
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. 1 Vivace, Ma Non Troppo - Adagio Espressivo
2. 2 Prestissimo
3. 3 Tema: Andante Molto Cantabile E Espressivo - Variazioni 1-6
4. 1 Moderato Cantabile Molto Espressivo
5. 2 Allegro Molto
6. 3 Fuga: Adagio Non Troppo, Adagio Nn Troppo, Fuga, L'istesso Tempo De Arioso, L'istesso Tempo Della Fuga
See all 8 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Performer: Seymour Lipkin
  • Audio CD (June 1, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Newport Classics
  • ASIN: B0002A2VUU
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,716 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Lehrer on February 25, 2005
SEYMOUR LIPKIN is possibly the only living pianist who expresses the essence of Beethoven. Lipkin's performance of the Waldstein, Op. 53, and Appassionata, Op. 57. is one of the most fiery performances ever recorded. The drive in the first movement of Opp. 53 and 57 and the last movement of Op. 81a, the drama of Op. 101, and the sonority in the first movement of Op. 110 clearly represent one of the most inspired Beethoven performances ever available on a CD. Lipkins's interpretations project the true intensity and power of the Beethoven piano sonatas. Rarely do audiences hear the nuance as well as large gesture in a live or recorded performance. Lipkin not only captures detail, such as in the slow introduction and second movement of Op. 81a, he decisively articulates musical gestures and sustains momentum and drive in the first and last movements of Opp. 53 and 57, the last movement of Op. 81a, and the fugues of Opp. 101 and 110. The result is a continuity of line and a grasp of the large scope. Lipkin's technical mastery of the piano allows him to transcend the instrument and express the essence of Beethoven. His performances will clearly join the recordings of Artur Schnabel and Rudolf Serkin as the most inspired Beethoven interpretations matching and frequently surpassing their definitive archive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ron Van Holland on March 10, 2009
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I wanted a complete set of the Beethoven piano sonatas and had a difficult time weeding through the many options. I listened to the entire set of three volumes four or five times within three months after I purchased them and am not disappointed. The recordings are blemishless as is Lipkin. The three-box set includes all of the sonatas and they are recorded in order, unlike some of the the other box sets. This makes them easy to find and easier to remember names for future reference. Each movement is well labeled electronically so the information transfers to iTunes -- this is a real problem with older recordings if one has to type in labels for each of over 100 separate movements (in the three-box set). I've heard more moving versions of Moonlight Sonata, for example, so although I am not a true aficionado I recognize that every piece in this set might not be the best ever recorded -- but no set can make that boast. I highly recommend this set for anyone who wants the Beethoven piano sonata library for both fine listening and convenient reference.
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Beethoven: Complete Sonatas Vol. 3 - Sonatas 23-32
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