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Igor Levit|Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas

Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas

Igor Levit

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Igor Levit makes his debut on Sony in the last six piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven, a part of the repertoire that is usually reserved for mature artists, not rising stars. Yet in spite of some signs of youthful enthusiasm, and a possible loss of objectivity from playing these pieces on a busy recital schedule, Levit has a good feeling for Beethoven's late style, and his 2013 release is a promising beginning for his recording career. The excessive use of rubato is something Levit should watch, because too much alteration of the tempo dissipates Beethoven's energy, and even though these sonatas have their moments of reverie and trance-like passages that can be interpreted as mystical experiences, too much elasticity can make them seem like idle daydreams, or worse, forgetfulness. On the whole, though, Levit shows his thorough mastery of the notes, and he can handle Beethoven's myriad syncopations and unconventional counterpoint with great agility. Ultimately, what proves Levit's preparedness for playing these sonatas has less to do with his technical abilities and more to do with his expression and understanding of Beethoven's rarefied sound world. Levit has captured the otherworldly quality that is a hallmark of the late works, and he grasps the forms that give the music meaning, whether in the labored fugues or the sublime variations. It will be interesting to see if Levit revisits these sonatas at a future date, if only to discover how he will grow with them, which he surely will. Sony's recording is up close and personal, so the occasionally faint dynamics are entirely Levit's doing.
© TiVo

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Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas

Igor Levit

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Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
I. Etwas lebhaft und mit der innigsten Empfindung
00:04:27

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

2
II. Lebhaft. Marschmäßig
00:06:07

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

3
III. Langsam und sehnsuchtsvoll
00:03:28

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

4
IV. Geschwind, doch nicht zu sehr, und mit Entschlossenheit
00:07:17

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat Major, Op. 106 "Hammerklavier" (Ludwig van Beethoven)

5
I. Allegro
00:10:18

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

6
II. Scherzo. Assai vivace
00:02:34

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

7
III. Adagio sostenuto. Appassionato e con molto sentimento
00:17:13

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

8
IV. Largo - Allegro risoluto
00:11:37

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

9
I. Vivace ma non troppo
00:03:51

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

10
II. Prestissimo
00:02:18

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

11
III. Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung. Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo
00:12:27

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

12
I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo
00:06:44

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

13
II. Allegro molto
00:02:13

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

14
III. Adagio ma non troppo - Fuga. Allegro ma non troppo
00:10:36

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

15
I. Maestoso - Allegro con brio ed appassionato
00:09:28

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

16
II. Arietta. Adagio molto semplice e cantabile
00:18:02

Igor Levit, Main Artist, Piano - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Stephan Schellmann, Producer

(P) 2013 Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

Igor Levit makes his debut on Sony in the last six piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven, a part of the repertoire that is usually reserved for mature artists, not rising stars. Yet in spite of some signs of youthful enthusiasm, and a possible loss of objectivity from playing these pieces on a busy recital schedule, Levit has a good feeling for Beethoven's late style, and his 2013 release is a promising beginning for his recording career. The excessive use of rubato is something Levit should watch, because too much alteration of the tempo dissipates Beethoven's energy, and even though these sonatas have their moments of reverie and trance-like passages that can be interpreted as mystical experiences, too much elasticity can make them seem like idle daydreams, or worse, forgetfulness. On the whole, though, Levit shows his thorough mastery of the notes, and he can handle Beethoven's myriad syncopations and unconventional counterpoint with great agility. Ultimately, what proves Levit's preparedness for playing these sonatas has less to do with his technical abilities and more to do with his expression and understanding of Beethoven's rarefied sound world. Levit has captured the otherworldly quality that is a hallmark of the late works, and he grasps the forms that give the music meaning, whether in the labored fugues or the sublime variations. It will be interesting to see if Levit revisits these sonatas at a future date, if only to discover how he will grow with them, which he surely will. Sony's recording is up close and personal, so the occasionally faint dynamics are entirely Levit's doing.
© TiVo

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