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Recording of Beethoven's Sonata no.32 please!!
June 26, 2009
6:58 am
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June 26, 2009
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I guess I'm not the only one who wants Keith to record Beethoven's final works for the piano and especially the Sonata no.32, op.111. This two-movement work points far ahead into the future, it's often been pointed out how the second movement  prefigures Skryabin, Messiaen and  many kinds of drone-driven, visionary music – and jazz/ragtime as well. If you've heard those few minutes in the middle, the fourth variation, you know what I mean. And the long epilogue of the work, with its cascades of trills, inner luminousness and single-chord sequences, has obvious parallels with “God Bless The Child” or “Prism”. A Jarrett recording would be invaluable.

I have two recordings of the work, a 1970 LP with Alfred Brendel (coupled with the Appassionata) and a 1957 recording with Vladimir Ashkenazy re-released on cd. They're different of course. Brendel is better in the sense that he has more command, he knows the work much better and gives a wonderful feeling of the music being born right in the moment, phrase for phrase, there's this feeling of playfulness and seriousness in balance, and incredible rhythmic control: that's something of what I think Jarrett would achieve too. Ashkenazy's is quicker, a bit less penetrating, more muscular, but very interesting still – it's one of his very first discs, he was like seventeen at the time. But I would jump at a Jarrett recital including this one (and the Hammerklavier sonata too, hey Keith? please!)

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