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Beethoven Piano Sonatas - Pizarro - The Herald


06 August 2004
The Herald
Michael Tumelty

You would think, with wall-to-wall series of recordings of Beethoven's piano sonatas available on CD, that there would be little left to be said on the subject. Portugese pianist Artur Pizarro gives the lie to that notion on his first recording for Linn, in which he chooses four of the best known 'name' sonatas: the Pathétique, Moonlight, Tempest and Appassionata.

In every respect, this is a major disc, one which opens new windows on the most familiar Beethoven territory. With a mixture of soulfulness and intellectualism, structural command and imaginative freedom, Pizarro grips the listener, creating the impression that the sonatas are newly-minted. He uses an unfashionable Blüthner grand piano, which responds phenomenally to his dazzling articulation, while giving huge sonorous depth to the sound. Interpretations are freshly thought: the introduction to the Pathétique has seldom been so slow, its Allegro seldom so explosive. In every way a disc to be sought out.


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