Classical CD of the month

How does he do it? A Beethoven piano sonata collection that seems to set out its stall as emphatically ‘modern' and unsentimental, yet ends up deeply affecting.

Name Complete Piano Sonatas, Volume 2
Composer Lugwig van Beethoven
Artists Paul Lewis (pianoforte)
Label Harmonia Mundi

The answer, for me, lies in the fact that Paul Lewis, with consummate skill, ratchets the emotional ante across the various works gradually. Structure comes first, rather than the attention-grabbing effect of the moment, and with structure comes - what? Understanding, perhaps, or emotional penetration.

None of which is to deny Lewis's credentials as a virtuoso of the highest order. He can supply the flourishes with the best, but it is his finely judged touch that lingers in the ear.

Our critic Bryce Morrison says in his review: ‘Here is one of those rare pianists who can charge even a single note or momentary pause with drama and significance and convince you, for example, that his lyrical, often darkly introspective way with Beethoven's pulsing con brio in the Waldstein Sonata is a viable, indeed, memorable alternative to convention.'

Morrison suggests that we may be witnessing the creation of ‘the most musicianly and ultimately satisfying of all recorded Beethoven piano sonata cycles'. You wouldn't bet against it.

James Inverne is editor of Gramophone. A full review is published in the December issue

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Under 40s to be offered alternative to AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Under 40s to be offered alternative to AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Patients aged 30-39 will be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19...

GPs per patient down 10% in just five years, NHS data reveal

GPs per patient down 10% in just five years, NHS data reveal

The number of fully-qualified, full-time equivalent (FTE) GPs per patient in England...

Supportive model must replace harmful CQC inspections, BMA chair warns

Supportive model must replace harmful CQC inspections, BMA chair warns

CQC inspections that ‘divert time away from patient care’ and ‘instil fear’ among...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

A 'tsunami' of work is drowning general practice: GPs speak out about a profession at its limit

A 'tsunami' of work is drowning general practice: GPs speak out about a profession at its limit

Rocketing workloads created by huge backlogs of cases and continuing COVID-19 disruption...

Slight increase in GP workforce during past year, but number of partners continues to fall

Slight increase in GP workforce during past year, but number of partners continues to fall

The GP workforce grew by 0.4% in the year to March 2021, but the number of GP partners...