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Igor Levit|Bach, Beethoven, Rzewski

Bach, Beethoven, Rzewski

Igor Levit

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The pianist Igor Levit has shown an inclination toward big virtuoso repertory: Liszt, Bach, the late Beethoven sonatas. Nothing he has done, however, is comparable to this giant effort, comprising three ambitious and extremely difficult variation sets. The amount of preparation involved is mind-boggling in itself, and what's more, Levit has knitted the three works together with a common style that's extremely precise and unobscured by pedal. You could buy the set for the Beethoven Diabelli Variations, Op. 120, alone, really; Levit offers a clean, probing reading that's not without a good deal of humor. The odd work out here is doubtless The People United Will Never Be Defeated, a set of variations by American composer Frederic Rzewski on the Chilean folk song El pueblo unido jamás será vencido. This work, despite its difficulties and despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that it has never quite fit the agendas of either modernists or neo-Romantics, has persisted for 40 years in the imaginations of players and audiences, and Levit makes a good case for its inclusion in the august environment in which he places it here. The works form a persuasive chain: Beethoven clearly knew Bach's variation set with its transfigured return to the theme at the end, and Rzewski's was explicitly modeled on Beethoven, with a big fugue at the end and a uniquely stretchy conception of the theme. Sony backs up Levit with crystal-clear studio sound, which was what was needed despite the pianist's Romantic virtuoso qualities. Strongly recommended.
© TiVo

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Bach, Beethoven, Rzewski

Igor Levit

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Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

1
Aria
00:04:24

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

2
Var. 1 a 1 Clav.
00:01:55

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

3
Var. 2 a 1 Clav.
00:01:50

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

4
Var. 3 - Canone all' Unisono a 1 Clav.
00:01:57

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

5
Var. 4 a 1 Clav.
00:01:06

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

6
Var. 5 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav.
00:01:20

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

7
Var. 6 - Canone alla Seconda a 1 Clav.
00:01:22

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

8
Var. 7 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. Al tempo di Giga
00:01:51

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

9
Var. 8 a 2 Clav.
00:01:52

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

10
Var. 9 - Canone alla Terza a 1 Clav.
00:02:07

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

11
Var. 10 - Fughetta a 1 Clav.
00:01:40

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

12
Var. 11 a 2 Clav.
00:01:43

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

13
Var. 12 - Canone alla Quarta
00:02:05

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

14
Var. 13 a 2 Clav.
00:05:35

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

15
Var. 14 a 2 Clav.
00:02:02

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

16
Var. 15 - Canone alla Quinta a 1 Clav. Andante
00:04:16

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

17
Var. 16 - Ouverture a 1 Clav.
00:02:55

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

18
Var. 17 a 2 Clav.
00:01:47

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

19
Var. 18 - Canone alla Sesta a 1 Clav.
00:01:27

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

20
Var. 19 a 1 Clav.
00:01:25

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

21
Var. 20 a 2 Clav.
00:01:48

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

22
Var. 21 - Canone alla Settima
00:02:43

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

23
Var. 22 a 1 Clav. Alla breve
00:01:37

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

24
Var. 23 a 2 Clav.
00:02:05

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

25
Var. 24 - Canone all' Ottava a 1 Clav.
00:02:34

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

26
Var. 25 a 2 Clav.
00:08:00

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

27
Var. 26 a 2 Clav.
00:02:01

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

28
Var. 27 - Canone alla Nona a 2 Clav.
00:01:34

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

29
Var. 28 a 2 Clav.
00:02:12

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

30
Var. 29 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav.
00:01:53

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

31
Var. 30 - Quodlibet a 1 Clav.
00:01:45

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

32
Aria da capo
00:04:28

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

DISC 2

Diabelli Variations - 33 Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op. 120 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
Tema. Vivace
00:00:47

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

2
Var. 1 - Alla Marcia maestoso
00:01:51

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

3
Var. 2 - Poco allegro
00:00:48

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

4
Var. 3 - L'istesso tempo
00:01:31

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

5
Var. 4 - Un poco più vivace
00:00:58

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

6
Var. 5 - Allegro vivace
00:00:52

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

7
Var. 6 - Allegro ma non troppo e serioso
00:01:40

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

8
Var. 7 - Un poco più allegro
00:01:00

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

9
Var. 8 - Piu vivace
00:01:34

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

10
Var. 9 - Allegro pesante e risoluto
00:01:59

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

11
Var. 10 - Presto
00:00:33

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

12
Var. 11 - Allegretto
00:01:03

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

13
Var. 12 - Un poco più moto
00:00:47

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

14
Var. 13 - Vivace
00:01:05

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

15
Var. 14 - Grave e maestoso
00:05:00

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

16
Var. 15 - Presto scherzando
00:00:34

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

17
Var. 16 - Allegro
00:00:53

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

18
Var. 17
00:00:58

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Igor Levit, Piano, MainArtist - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

The pianist Igor Levit has shown an inclination toward big virtuoso repertory: Liszt, Bach, the late Beethoven sonatas. Nothing he has done, however, is comparable to this giant effort, comprising three ambitious and extremely difficult variation sets. The amount of preparation involved is mind-boggling in itself, and what's more, Levit has knitted the three works together with a common style that's extremely precise and unobscured by pedal. You could buy the set for the Beethoven Diabelli Variations, Op. 120, alone, really; Levit offers a clean, probing reading that's not without a good deal of humor. The odd work out here is doubtless The People United Will Never Be Defeated, a set of variations by American composer Frederic Rzewski on the Chilean folk song El pueblo unido jamás será vencido. This work, despite its difficulties and despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that it has never quite fit the agendas of either modernists or neo-Romantics, has persisted for 40 years in the imaginations of players and audiences, and Levit makes a good case for its inclusion in the august environment in which he places it here. The works form a persuasive chain: Beethoven clearly knew Bach's variation set with its transfigured return to the theme at the end, and Rzewski's was explicitly modeled on Beethoven, with a big fugue at the end and a uniquely stretchy conception of the theme. Sony backs up Levit with crystal-clear studio sound, which was what was needed despite the pianist's Romantic virtuoso qualities. Strongly recommended.
© TiVo

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