Magazine article Gramophone

Beethoven: 'A Beethoven Odyssey, Vol 3'

Magazine article Gramophone

Beethoven: 'A Beethoven Odyssey, Vol 3'

Article excerpt

Beethoven 'A Beethoven Odyssey, Vol 3' Piano Sonatas--No 2, Op 2 No 2; No 17, 'Tempest', Op 31 No 2; No 26, 'Les adieux', Op 81a James Brawn pf MSR Classics [F] MS1467 (7V * DDD)

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The British pianist James Brawn is recording his way through the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas out of chronological order, which gives listeners a chance to hear the composer at different periods in his development in the genre. What unites the performances is Brawn's authoritative sense of shape and sonority. So far, his playing has been the epitome of lucidity, elegance and drama. There's every reason to expect that his complete set of the sonatas will be a triumphant achievement.

So is there any reason to read further in this review of 'A Beethoven Odyssey, Vol 3'? Perhaps to glean some of the distinctive qualities Brawn brings to each sonata. The earliest here is the Sonata No 2 (Op 2 No 2), an example of Beethoven as card-carrying classicist with narrative surprises up his sleeve. …

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