Magazine article Gramophone

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas-No. 11

Magazine article Gramophone

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas-No. 11

Article excerpt


Piano Sonatas--No. 11, Op 22; No. 18, Op 31 No. 3; No. 28, Op 101

Angela Hewitt pf

Hyperion (F) CDA67974 (72' * DDD)

Exquisite in taste is the slow movement of Op 22, a beautifully paced Adagio, in the hands of Angela Hewitt. But Beethoven's extra instruction, con molta espressione, implying passion too, is kept at a distance. She is reserved, as she is in the first-movement Allegro where con brio is kept at a distance too. Hewitt drops her guard in the last two movements, the finale mysteriously questing yet suitably dramatic in the B flat minor and F minor episodes. Paul Lewis and Francois-Frederic Guy are, however, better attuned to the work as a whole.

As is Alfred Brendel to Op 31 No. 3, authoritative in utterance and in each movement building a palpable continuum of tension that escapes Hewitt. She doesn't seem comfortable with rhetoric, humour or grandeur, the last movement a succession of notes too fast for a Presto in 6/8 and far from con fuoco. …

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