Country : Austria Label : Arcana Genres and styles : Classical Year : 2020

Ludwig van Beethoven: The Complete Piano Sonatas played on Period Instruments

· by Sarah-Ann Larouche

This re-release of recordings made in the 1980s arrives just a few months after the death of its famous performer, the Austrian pianist Paul Badura-Skoda. The complete Piano Sonatas (or keyboard sonatas, one should say) by Ludwig van Beethoven, in a nine-CD box set, is also timely and marks the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

For the purposes of this album, seven period instruments have been used. Their sounds, surprising at first listen, obviously differ from the modern piano we are used to. What is lost in legato and resonance is largely compensated for by the intensity of the interpretation, the contrasts in nuance and the subtlety of the articulations. The particular difficulty imposed by the instrumentation makes this set an impressive achievement. If you’s a person with perfect pitch, be warned: a few raised eyebrows are to be expected!

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