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Beethoven Piano Sonatas - Pizarro - The Sunday Times


08 August 2004
The Sunday Times
Paul Driver

Pizarro is emabarking on a year long Beethoven sonata cycle in London. As a sampler, here are four of the most popular: the C minor Pathétique, C sharp minor Moonlight, D minor Tempest and F minor Appassionata. It is a lot of minor, but his commitment is manifestly major, and the quality of his realisation is scrupulous. He avoids exaggerated gesture, but always rises to Beethoven's dramatic challenges, never more thrillingly than in an Appassionata of faultless bravura. Sometimes the precision can seem steely, at the expense of poetry: the Moonlight's evocative opening needs a drop or two more of silver, but he captures the uncanny quality of the pedalled recitatives in the Tempest, and his Pathétique is sterling.
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