4F de Télérama -
4 étoiles de Classica
Better known for his recordings of the music of Robert Schumann and Gabriel Fauré, pianist Eric le Sage ventures into less accustomed repertoire with this Alpha disc of the last three piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven. These pieces, like others among Beethoven's late masterworks, have an ineffable aura of sanctity about them, and performers approach them with a sense of awe, as well as a solid backlist of recordings that lead up to them. Le Sage doesn't have a discography of Beethoven sonatas, or even much Beethoven in his catalog at all, so his offering of the Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109, the Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110, and the Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111, may come as a surprise, or even an affront to some sensibilities. Yet he plays with the transparent touch and calm demeanor of many a master, and even though he isn't likely to be credited with a major achievement until he records the rest of the sonatas, these performances are equal in technique, physical prowess, and emotional power to many other fine renditions. The sense of transcendence that unifies these three sonatas is evident in le Sage's controlled interpretations, and he lends the music a clarity that feels a little rarefied and otherworldly, especially in the closing variations of Op. 111. On the strength of these exceptional performances, one hopes le Sage has a complete Beethoven cycle in store and that Alpha will release it soon.