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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Box set, Import
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Top Customer Reviews
Tempos tend to be leisurely, and steady but flexible. Rubato is subtly employed to heighten points, but is not of Arrau's "romantic" attention-getting sort. All repeats are observed.
Oland uses pedal sparingly, the instrument is miked very closely, and staccati are extremely clipped. The sound becomes a bit dry and hard above mezzo-forte. On the plus side, this promotes great clarity. For example, in finale of the "Moonlight" one really hears the rhythmic patterns "grinding" against each other. Fugal writing is projected very clearly the lines retain their identities. Sometimes this becomes too much of a good thing. Not that Oland doesn't use pedal when appropriate, but she doesn't go all the way when blurred "sfumato" effects are called for. The closing pages of No.32 are a case in point. There her internal trills are not so even as, say, Goode's, and the texture is TOO clear!
Oland seems reluctant to shed classical repose in Beethoven's more wild-eyed moments. The prestissimo coda of the "Appassionata" is not much above the moderate tempo of the rest of the movement, and the excitement fizzles out.Read more ›
This recording is far from awful, and they are certainly worth $20.00 Although not the best that I have heard, they are good, if unremarkable performances. There are really only two things I would change about the recording:
The first would be the tempi. Oland tends to take some passages slower than appropriate. This is not a major issue, nothing has ever seemed to be dreadfully slow. In general though, the pace could have been increased slightly.
The other thing I would change would be to increase the bass. These recordings have more emphasis on the higher notes than on the lower, this was especially evident in the first movement of the very last sonata. Again, not a major issue, but something that would have made the set better.
Other than those two issues, this is an exceptionally good set for one to start out with. If you already own all (or most) of Beethoven's sonatas, you will not likely find anything of interest here. If you are just starting you collection of Beethoven' sonatas, start here. Listen to them and learn them. Then buy better versions of the individual sonatas to suit your tastes
Update 10/14/2008 - After living with this recording for a while, I have increasingly found myself to be dissatisified with it. Oland's playing comes accross as cold and unemotional, not a good thing in these works. Combined with the weak sound quality as noted above, the value of these works has dropped dramatically.Read more ›
I'd buy this again and again if someone did the exact same quality and price for Mozart, Bach, et al.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
All agree this complete set of Beethoven's piano sonatas is a bargain & a splendid 'starter' set. Where I disagree with some of the reviews is that it's MUCH more than that: I've... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Rick M.
Dear Ms Oland: Please accept this simple thank-you for your so very thoughtful and insightful recording of the Beethoven sonatas. Read morePublished on August 6, 2009 by T. Beers
The music is absolutely beautiful. The playing is superb! The recording is also excellent. I am very happy with this purchase. Read morePublished on August 8, 2008 by John Keating