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  • Beethoven: Sonatas "Quasi Una Fantasia" - Maria João Pires
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Beethoven: Sonatas "Quasi Una Fantasia" - Maria João Pires Import


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Audio CD, Import, November 13, 2001
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Product Details

  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (November 13, 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Run Time: 51 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005OC07
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,578 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Piano Sonata no. 13, op. 27 no. 1: Andante-Allegro-Tempo I-attaca
2. Piano Sonata no. 13, op. 27 no. 1: Allegro molto e vivace-attaca
3. Piano Sonata no. 13, op. 27 no. 1: Adagio con espressione: attacca
4. Piano Sonata no. 13, op. 27 no. 1: Allegro vivace
5. Piano Sonata no. 14, op. 27 no. 2: Adagio sostenuto-attacca
6. Piano Sonata no. 14, op. 27 no. 2: Allegretto-attacca
7. Piano Sonata no. 14, op. 27 no. 2: Presto agitato
8. Piano Sonata no. 30 op. 109: Vivace, ma non troppo
9. Piano Sonata no. 30 op. 109: Prestissimo
10. Piano Sonata no. 30 op. 109: Gesangvoll, mit inningster Empfindung

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Maria-João Pires's poetic pianism has won admirers for her lyric Chopin and sensitive Mozart performances. She brings similar romantic sensibility to these Beethoven sonatas, using a wide dynamic range, strong tempo contrasts, and her usual sober interpretive stance. Beethoven's music is so strong, it can take an enormous variety of approaches, and many will find Pires's versions of these sonatas enthralling, given the beauty of her tone and her obvious involvement in the music. But her approach often verges on mannerism. The slow movements tend to be too slow, as in the dreamy opening movement of Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata, which subordinates the argument of the piece to mere prettiness. Compared with such master Beethoven pianists as Arrau, Kempff, Schnabel, and Yves Nat, the great Op. 109 sonata seems superficial, its dragging opening a microcosm of what's objectionable in her approach to Beethoven. Pires's fans will not be disappointed, but Beethoven buffs will have reservations. Excellent sonics, but the packaging is puzzling, and the booklet could be mistaken for a real estate ad for Pires's Portuguese estate. --Dan Davis

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ralph H. Peters on December 3, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Reviewers write in such hyperbole that words are cheapened. When a genuinely transcendent work of art comes along, our praise uses the same vocabulary as that applied to the latest bit of over-hyped junk. I found this recording hypnotic and unique--an incomparable fusion of mature, wise austerity, impeccable technique, controlled passion, bright intelligence and an almost otherworldly sensitivity enabled by, rather than inhibited by, the artist's self-control. If this sounds contradictory, it's because language won't go the step beyond required to communicate the level of achievement Maria Joao Pires has reached at this point. Like the utterly-different Martha Argerich, she is a transcendent artist, someone who exists in such a perfect union with the music that, upon hearing her recordings, you feel that "this is exactly how the piece was meant to be played and heard and felt." For anyone who believes the "Moonlight" sonata is worn-out, this recording will be a revelation. My only reservation is that I'm not certain young ears will "get it." This is music so incisive that the listener may need a certain experience of life--and of music--to begin to appreciate the quality on offer. Quiet, rigorous, yet rich with passion of the highest order, this is, for me, one of the greatest piano recordings I have ever heard. Stunning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "scarlatti11" on October 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Pires did a wonderful work
with this sonatas, my favorite
is Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata.
Pires puts the passion and the
feelings that the performance
of these works need.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MovieMusic on June 1, 2011
Format: Audio CD
The problem with this cd is not so much with the pianist (she has greater and lesser moments just like they all do) as with the recording. The microphone positioning has created a very unnatural effect, both good and bad. The overall balance is terrible, because there is far too much bass echo. This piano does not sound like anything you will ever hear in a concert hall.

But the upside is that Maria has a lightness of touch that, so closely miked, produces softer treble passages that are the most thrillingly delicate I have ever heard. These are sounds that never normally reach your ears because they dissipate in space.

So this is not a great recording, not even really a good one. Yet it is still a must have because it contains short passages of the most beautiful sounds you might ever hear. A good set of headphones, preferably open or semi-open, will reveal them.
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