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Paul Lewis|Beethoven: The Famous Piano Sonatas

Beethoven: The Famous Piano Sonatas

PAUL LEWIS

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These are not new recordings by pianist Paul Lewis but rather are extracted from his complete cycle of Beethoven's sonatas, recorded over the late 2000s and released in 2009. The idea of doing a "greatest hits" for Lewis is an intriguing one, for he has always been, if not exactly an "intellectual" pianist, one who prizes detail over big drama. The plan seems to have worked. The first movement of the Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 ("Moonlight"), has, for whatever reason, amassed at this writing more than 100,000,000 streams on streaming services, with the result that a lot of people are hearing some very fine Beethoven playing. Lewis does not sentimentalize anything in this famed first movement, but it has an unusually well-controlled glassiness. Even Für Elise, WoO 59, the ultimate Beethoven chestnut, receives a thoughtful and compelling performance. One might wonder if the Piano Sonata No. 29 in B flat major, Op. 106 ("Hammerklavier"), is really a famous Beethoven sonata, but Lewis is second to none in clarifying the textures of this thorny work, and new listeners could do worse than to start here with the much-discussed late Beethoven. For the Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 ("Pathétique"), and Piano Sonata No. 23 in F sharp minor, Op. 57 ("Appassionata"), one could find stormier readings, but these are of the sort that keep the listener returning again and again to absorb all the detail. This collection easily dispels any suspicion that Harmonia Mundi was merely in search of more profits from the original set.
© James Manheim /TiVo

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Beethoven: The Famous Piano Sonatas

Paul Lewis

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Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 "Pathétique" (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
I. Grave - Allegro di molto e con brio
00:09:48

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

2
II. Andante cantabile
00:05:23

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

3
III. Rondo (Allegro)
00:05:21

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 "Moonlight" (Ludwig van Beethoven)

4
I. Adagio sostenuto
00:05:15

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

5
II. Allegretto
00:02:19

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

6
III. Presto agitato
00:07:38

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

Sonate pour Piano No. 24 en Fa Dièse Majeur, Op. 78 "à Thérèse" (Ludwig van Beethoven)

7
I. Adagio cantabile - Allegro ma non troppo
00:07:19

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

8
II. Allegro vivace
00:03:10

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

9
Bagatelle in A Minor, WoO 59 ʻFür Elise'
00:03:23

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

10
Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op. 31 No. 2 "The Tempest": I. Largo - Allegro
00:08:53

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

11
Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op. 31 No. 2 "The Tempest": II. Adagio
00:08:23

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

12
Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op. 31 No. 2 "The Tempest": III. Allegretto
00:07:15

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

DISC 2

Piano Sonata No. 23 In F Minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata" (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
I. Allegro assai
00:10:25

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

2
II. Andante con moto - Allegro non troppo
00:05:46

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

3
III. Allegro ma non troppo - Presto
00:08:38

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

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

4
I. Allegro
00:11:39

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

5
II. Scherzo (Assai vivace)
00:02:48

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

6
III. Adagio sostenuto (Appassionato e con molto sentimento)
00:18:31

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

7
IV. Largo - Allegro - Allegro risoluto
00:12:52

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - PAUL LEWIS, Piano, MainArtist

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

Album Description

These are not new recordings by pianist Paul Lewis but rather are extracted from his complete cycle of Beethoven's sonatas, recorded over the late 2000s and released in 2009. The idea of doing a "greatest hits" for Lewis is an intriguing one, for he has always been, if not exactly an "intellectual" pianist, one who prizes detail over big drama. The plan seems to have worked. The first movement of the Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 ("Moonlight"), has, for whatever reason, amassed at this writing more than 100,000,000 streams on streaming services, with the result that a lot of people are hearing some very fine Beethoven playing. Lewis does not sentimentalize anything in this famed first movement, but it has an unusually well-controlled glassiness. Even Für Elise, WoO 59, the ultimate Beethoven chestnut, receives a thoughtful and compelling performance. One might wonder if the Piano Sonata No. 29 in B flat major, Op. 106 ("Hammerklavier"), is really a famous Beethoven sonata, but Lewis is second to none in clarifying the textures of this thorny work, and new listeners could do worse than to start here with the much-discussed late Beethoven. For the Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 ("Pathétique"), and Piano Sonata No. 23 in F sharp minor, Op. 57 ("Appassionata"), one could find stormier readings, but these are of the sort that keep the listener returning again and again to absorb all the detail. This collection easily dispels any suspicion that Harmonia Mundi was merely in search of more profits from the original set.
© James Manheim /TiVo

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