11 January 2009

Grigori Sokolov - Beethoven piano sonatas nos. 11 & 32

Yesterday RAI3 broadcast part of a concert that Grigori Sokolov gave in Rome in March 2004. It is so exceptional that I thought I would post it here, even if it is a bit different from the usual fare. Sonata no. 11 is read as if it is a Tolstoy novel - uniquely observed epsiodes held together by an inexorable narrative thread. The reading of no. 32 is extraordinary; never have I heard the Maestoso played with more bite and venom, and never have I heard it contrasted in the later movements with more aching pathos.

16 comments:

Tantris said...

FLAC

http://rapidshare.com/files/182158173/Sokolov_LvB_1.zip
http://rapidshare.com/files/182164168/Sokolov_LvB_2.zip

Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

you are a god - 32 is my favorite!

Anonymous said...

by the way, have you heard michelangeli's version of sonata 32 from london, 1990? it's extremely good - posted now at An Die Musik.

Tantris said...

I am interested in all things to do with Michelangeli - do you have a link to 'An Die Musik'?

Anonymous said...

I think you're really going to like this.

http://erlenlieder.blogspot.com/2008/12/beethoven-piano-sonata-op-111-chopin.html

Tantris said...

Thanks - that is indeed a great reading, with that sense of languidness yet total control that Michelangeli had.

serviceton said...

Tantris this is astonishingly good. This would be the best version of No. 11 I've heard I think. Utterly compelling playing! The slow movement (of 11) was (for me) my only caveat - it didn't 'convince' in the way that the surrounding movements do: - blowing the dust off an old Kempff platter, and cuing up the Adagio, I was transported back to the quiet poetry of "how i think it goes" (!!) But even there, having heard how Sokolov opens the Arietta of 32, with a similar 'approach', I'm going back to re-listen to No 11 again.! Unlike Op111, No 11 is not really a poster-boy for the LVB piano sonatas - it's wonderful to hear a reading that just infuses it with such life, passion and meaning.
You're totally right about the Maestoso of No 32 - quite extraordinary!! Whadda way to open! The whole reading (32) is a fantastic living, breathing thing.
For me, one the most refreshing things about Sokolov's playing is his lack of that 'gestural self-awareness', that inhibits (or inhabits!) so may maestros of the 88. He's not hung up on the gestures of pianism, nor the hide-bound sanctity of these sacrosanct monoliths that he's called to approach (ie The Beethoven Sonatas - *especially* the last one..).

The piano is kind of klanky isn't it? At first I thought he was on one of those old-fangled forte pianos, or a DX7 with the 'Grand Piano' patch, but I think it's just in the way it was recorded (I'm guessing your FLACs sound like what came out your radio).
The audience are mostly pretty well behaved cough&grunt - wise. How they can resist applauding wildly between some of the movement breaks just escapes me..
Jimmy Yancey fans will be disappointed to hear that Mr Sokolov doesn't really 'boogie it up' in the 2nd movement of No 32. But his trill-work is pretty good at the end there.....

thanks Tantris - Appreciated!

Tantris said...

Hi serviceton - good to hear you enjoyed this!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, unfortunately the links are dead. Could you please repost it? Many thanks in advance!!

Anonymous said...

Pls Pls repost thanks

Philip said...

Let me add my request to please repost this to the growing list!

serviceton said...

As the individual who was not the poster, but did all the raving above in comments, I'll put these back up for you no problem. Give me a few hours to zip and upload.

serviceton said...

Here you go then - Tantris' original "made on a Mac" zip packages.
Perfectly playable on any PC I hasten to add.
These are FLACs. I hope someone else enjoys these performances too.

http://rapidshare.com/files/243549497/Sokolov_LvB_1.zip
http://rapidshare.com/files/243580914/Sokolov_LvB_2.zip

onxidlib said...

I'm a bit late, but thanks to Tantris and Serviceton.
I've grown up with Beethoven and Bach - haven't heard any Beethoven for at least ten years...
This is catapulting me into my teen age - being 'bout twelve years old and listening to Beethoven's music.

jamespantsbiggestfan said...

This sounds intriguing - any chance of a reup?

Many thanks

Tantris said...

That's a good excuse to listen to this again :)

Sokolov1
Sokolov2
Sokolov3