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


Just published

Patient satisfaction screen

How a GP practice worked with patients to stop a torrent of complaints

A GP practice has seen complaints drop from 50-plus a day to just four in 10 months...

British Army soldiers marching

How the NHS Op COURAGE service can help support veterans

Armed forces veterans often have unique health needs. Clinical staff from London...

GP consultation

Continuity of care would save millions of GP appointments each year, new study finds

GP workload would be significantly reduced if continuity of care was prioritised...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Visa sponsor shortage threatens GP workforce, locum GPs struggle to find work, record appointments

The GPonline team discusses the key news stories affecting general practice in our...

RCGP sign

RCGP condemns threat to retention funding as third of GPs consider quitting

Funding for GP retention risks being stripped away to cover other financial pressures...

Professor Dame Helen Stokes Lampard

Former RCGP chair joins NHS England board

Former RCGP chair Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard has joined the NHS England...