Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Michael S. Wright on Stewart Goodyear: 'What a find...what I heard was amazing!'

Michael S. Wright of the United Kingdom writes:

Very, very interesting and worth me hearing more. I have two ‘definitive’ versions of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas – Schnabel (1930’s), and Brendel (2nd recording) plus the incomplete but definitive recordings of Solomon. Very good too is the set by Barenboim which gives insight on the earlier sonatas. Schnabel’s recordings are lo-fi 78’s, he makes quite a lot of errors but somehow, his recordings convey real musical magic that transports you into Beethoven’s world op 106 (Hammerclavier) is amazing. Solomon comes very close and excels in the last two despite sonic limitations and I think op 111 in particular shines. Brendel gives Op 81a and Op 109 a really fine performance and he modelled much on Schnabel.

Now for Stewart Goodyear. Yes, he can certainly play the first movement of the ‘Moonlight’ but this is not (in my view) the most commanding sonata. The rubato was perhaps more than I like but there was something there! My view is that the real test comes in the ‘late 6’ (Ops 90, 101, 106, 109, 110 and 111). I then had a quick listen to the ‘snippets’ on
and…what a find!!!! I feel I might learn just a little more about Beethoven if I listen to this recording… what I heard was amazing! Please circulate this on your blog and especially to Goodyear … in the hope that he will set off and do the Haydn and Schubert sets!

I had heard about Goodyear’s ‘marathon’ run of the 32 and just wonder which order he did them!

Kind regards


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