Sunday, August 24, 2014

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Plays Scarlatti, Beethoven, Clementi & Chopin

For near-consistent technical perfection Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli was probably unequalled in his lifetime. But was he a consummate artist, too ? Yes, when the music touched a chord in him. Regrettably, Beethoven’s Op 111 doesn’t. There’s no questioning the rhythmic grip on the work, note-values scrupulously observed, the subdivisions of the beat in the second movement nicely integrated into the overall pulse. But Michelangeli is emotionally detached and the dynamic range is also narrow.
Clementi fares much better. The second movement of Op 12 No 1, Larghetto con espressione, is just that, but it doesn’t prepare listeners for the audacity that follows in the last movement, a Theme and 11 variations. Michelangeli omits Nos 3, 7 and 11, rearranges the order of some of the others and ends with Variation 9, and rounds that off with a dexterous coda of his own. Well, the playing simply disarms criticism. So do the performances of Scarlatti’s Kk172 and Kk11, but some impassivity creeps into the A major sonata Kk322 (not the B flat Kk332, as erroneously stated in the documentation).
The sound is not the last word in fidelity but offers no barrier to communication, especially in Chopin’s sonata. This is the raison d’être of the disc, an interpretation of extraordinarily individual insight into the coruscating power, brooding intensity and yearning lyricism of an extraordinary work. Michelangeli is right inside the music, carrying it along in a compulsively powerful undertow. No aloofness here. The much-abused epithet ‘great’ really does apply.
Nalen Anthoni

Source : http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/beethoven-piano-sonata-no-32-chopin-piano-sonata-no-2-in-b-flat

Arturo Benedetti
Michelangeli
Plays
Scarlatti
Beethoven
Clementi
Chopin

Tracks

Domenico Scarlatti
(1685-1757)

Three Keyboard Sonatas
1 Sonata C minor, K. 11 (L. 352)  2:59
2 Sonata n B-flat major, K. 332 (L. 141)  2:20
3 Sonata in B-flat major, K. 172 (L. S40)  4:23
Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111

Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770-18    27)

Piano Sonata n° 32 in C minor, Op. 111
4 I. Maestoso - Allegro con brio ed appassionato  8:40
5 II. Arietta. Adagio molto semplice e cantabile  16:43

Muzio Clementi
(1752-1832)

Piano Sonata in B flat major, Op. 12 n° 1
6 I. Presto  6:50
7 II. Larghetto con espressione  3:06
8 III. Allegretto  7:32

Frédéric Chopin
(1810-1849)

Piano Sonata n° 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35
9 I. Grave - Doppio movimento  7:35
10 II. Scherzo   7:50
11 III. Marche Funèbre. Lento - attacca:  9:19
12 IV. Finale. Presto  1:36

*

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli - p

Recorded at the BBC Studios, Maida Vale, London ; May 12, 1961 (Scarlatti & Beethoven) ; June 30, 1959 (Clementi & Chopin)

1 comment:

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