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Concertos - Released September 7, 2009 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released May 16, 2015 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
Russian fortepianist Olga Pashchenko has had teachers on both the Russian (Alexei Lubimov) and the Western (Richard Egarr) sides, and she might be the one to put these ingredients together into a mix that makes a historical-instrument star. Here she plays a Christopher Clarke copy of a Viennese Fritz fortepiano of 1818, not exactly contemporaneous with the music involved, but close to it and just a little bit clearer sonically. The music is early-to-middle Beethoven, with the central slots occupied by two large variation sets that exemplify the fearlessly experimental streak of the young Beethoven. The more familiar of the two is the set called here by the name Prometheus Variations, Op. 35, but better known as the Eroica Variations because the theme is the same as that used in the finale of the Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 ("Eroica"). Pashchenko exploits her instrument's chunky, big lower register well here as the theme builds innovatively out of its bass line at the beginning. Even more striking are the 32 Variations on an Original Theme in C minor, WoO 80, issued in 1808, where Beethoven seems to begin the groundbreaking experiments with Baroque style that would characterize his later years. The variations are very brief, almost like those in a Baroque chaconne, and here again Pashchenko fills out the texture with tough, knotty details. It's an exciting performance of an important work that is primarily ignored because it was never published. Pashchenko also offers performances of the Fantasia in G minor, Op. 77, and the two "easy" sonatas of Op. 49, which in Pashchenko's hands are not so easy. Exciting, serious Beethoven in which listeners will forget they are listening to a historical instrument.
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Classical - Released September 9, 2014 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 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.

Symphonic Music - Released November 6, 2012 | Glossa

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released November 6, 2012 | Phi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio
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Concertos - Released September 11, 2012 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released May 15, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio
Even though hearing Ludwig van Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, Op. 120, performed by Andreas Staier on a fortepiano, may be the main selling point of this 2012 release on Harmonia Mundi, it seems to take second place when the CD's curiosities are considered. Viennese publisher Anton Diabelli challenged a number of Austrian composers to devise variations on his original waltz, and though Beethoven's set of 33 variations has come down to us as the most memorable result of this contest, one almost never hears any of the variations composed by the likes of Carl Czerny, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Frédéric Kalkbrenner, Joseph Kerkowsky, Conradin Kreutzer, Franz Liszt, Ignaz Moscheles, Johann Peter Pixis, Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, or Franz Schubert. Diabelli collected 50 variations from as many living composers, which he published as Part II of Vaterländischer Künstlerverein. But Beethoven's magisterial set was published as Part I, so Staier's reversal of the parts on this recording is strategic, to entice the listener to try the less familiar variations first, and even offering his own witty variation as an Introduction, before heading straightway into Beethoven's richly developed work. The recital is totally convincing, and Staier's plan works, because hearing the variations in their published order would have been anti-climactic, since Beethoven's monumental music dwarfs even the cleverest of his contemporaries' efforts. Staier's playing is energetic, fun, and exciting, and the sonorities he pulls out of the modern copy of a Conrad Graf fortepiano are surprisingly robust and in-tune. Harmonia Mundi's sound seems to come in and out of focus, due to the acoustics of the room, but overall it is a pleasantly resonant recording that gives the instrument its due.
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Classical - Released June 13, 2011 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - Diamant d'Opéra Magazine - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released September 13, 2010 | Warner Classics

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama

Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | TransArt

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Symphonic Music - Released March 5, 2010 | Sony Classical

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Symphonic Music - Released January 18, 2010 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Alpha

Distinctions 4F de Télérama

Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | Lyrinx

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Lyrinx

Distinctions Choc du Monde de la Musique - 4F de Télérama
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