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Beethoven: Masterpieces for Solo Piano/8 Sonatas

Bruce Hungerford , Ludwig van Beethoven Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Beethoven: Masterpieces for Solo Piano/8 Sonatas + Piano Sonatas
Price for both: $28.95

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Product Details

  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (August 26, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Vanguard Classics
  • ASIN: B0000AGWEB
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,248 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Grave; Allegro Di Molto E Con Brio
2. Adagio Cantabile
3. Rondo: Allegro
4. Adagio Sostenuto
5. Allegretto
6. Presto Agitato
7. Largo; Allegro
8. Adagio
9. Allegretto
10. Allegro Con Brio
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Adagio Cantabile
2. Allegro Vivace
3. Vivace Ma Non Troppo
4. Prestissimo
5. Andante Molto Cantabile Ed Espressivo
6. Moderato Cantabile, Molto Espressivo
7. Allegro Molto
8. Adagio Ma Non Troppo
9. Fuga: Allegro Ma Non Troppo
10. Maestoso - Allegro Con Brio Ed Appassionato
See all 11 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most impressive! November 5, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I collect interpretations of Beethoven sonatas, thus was surprised to learn there are "old and tested" performances (I should really say, ones of this stature!) I did not know. The "A Thérèse", "Waldstein", "Tempest" and Op. 109 sonatas are absolute standouts here, and Hungerford's Op. 110 also ranks among the finest versions I know. They all tend to be, for the lack of a better word, masculine performances, in the best sense of the term, as well as intellectual ones, thoroughly considered, sometimes surprising in conception as well as detail, though never unnecessarily cute. Better yet, there's not a single letdown on this double CD. At this price, buy first and think later, or else these might disappear again before you know what you're missing...

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best September 5, 2005
Format:Audio CD
It is unfortunate that Bruce Hungerford's untimely death prevented him from completing a complete cycle of Beethoven's sonatas. Otherwise, he could have been ranked among the greatest of the great. His playing explores the deep text of a score as vividly as Arrau would, and his technique is nearly as virtuostic as Horowitz. He would have been the perfect performer of these great, powerful pieces of music had he lived long enough, and it is a pity that only a small circle of piano-lovers recognize his talent. I recommend him highly, and the sound is indeed amazing as well.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprise! October 17, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Imagine discovering the best attributes of your three favorite, legendary, and European Beethoven sonata interpreters in one relative unknown from down under.

Out of the twenty-plus artists whose recordings of the sonatas I have heard, I especially admire Gulda for his playfulness, clarity, and forward momentum, Backhaus for his color and depth of tone, and Pollini for his remarkable ability to shed light on the underlying complexities of these works without sacrificing their structural integrity.

So I was surprised and thrilled to discover in Bruce Hungerford all of these characteristics applied in just the right measure across the eighteen sonatas I have so far found on CD. These performances are engaging, dramatic, fun, and on first hearing a little radical, though repeated listening makes them seem both natural and extraordinary. In direct comparison, Gulda seems a little flat, Backhaus somewhat pedestrian, and Pollini often a tad too dense and serious.

I do not think there is any "definitive" set of Beethoven's sonatas. They can be rewarding viewed from any vantage point. And I will continue to value the best attributes of Gulda, Backhaus, Pollini (whose Hammerklavier and other late sonatas are essential), and many others, especially in those sonatas Hungerford never recorded. But this Australian's readings are immensely satisfying and deserve much broader recognition than they are ever likely to receive.

You owe it to yourself to hear these.
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