Robert Silverman | 3 Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Op. 31

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Classical: Beethoven Classical: Piano solo Moods: Solo Instrumental
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3 Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Op. 31

by Robert Silverman

Three remastered recordings of Robert Silverman's best-selling, critically acclaimed, Juno short-listed, album of all 32 Beethoven's Piano Sonatas, originally released in 2000.
Genre: Classical: Beethoven
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1. Piano Sonata No. 16 in G Major, Op. 31, No. 1: I. Allegro vivace
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2. Piano Sonata No. 16 in G Major, Op. 31, No. 1: II. Adagio grazioso
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3. Piano Sonata No. 16 in G Major, Op. 31, No. 1: III. Rondo: Allegretto
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4. Piano Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op. 31, No. 2 "Tempest": I. Largo; Allegro
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5. Piano Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op. 31, No. 2 "Tempest": II. Adagio
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6. Piano Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op. 31, No. 2 "Tempest": III. Allegretto
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7. Piano Sonata No. 18 in E-Flat Major, Op. 31, No. 3: I. Allegro
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8. Piano Sonata No. 18 in E-Flat Major, Op. 31, No. 3: II. Scherzo: Allegretto vivace
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9. Piano Sonata No. 18 in E-Flat Major, Op. 31, No. 3: III. Menuetto: Moderato e grazioso
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10. Piano Sonata No. 18 in E-Flat Major, Op. 31, No. 3: IV: Presto con fuoco
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The first appearance of these recordings since both pressings of the CDs sold out completely shortly after they were issued. The raves were many, but Fanfare Magazine said it all in a lengthy, in depth review: "These performances are totally musical; that is, the music is first, not the playing of the music. He plays them naturally, as if he has lived with them all his life. He has found the essential humanity—the tragedy, the humor, and the triumph—of these works, and revealed it to us with a sense of gratitude.... Though op. 31/I opens in a very non-melodic way, Silverman finds the key to its organization and brings it off with conviction. The second movement seems to me almost a parody of the florid operatic style in which later Romantic composers like Liszt and Chopin composed, specifically the variations they wrote on themes of Bellini, Rossini, and Donizetti, but I’ve rarely heard them done so charmingly. Its third movement is shockingly Schubertian, particularly reminiscent of that composer’s Piano Sonata in A. The “Tempest,” op. 31/2, is a clear preparation for the drama of op. 57, the “Appassionata,” especially evidenced by the way that Silverman plays the mesmerizing arabesques in the third movement. But it’s the Adagio of this sonata that is one of Beethoven’s most profound slow movements; Silverman plays it very slowly, as he relishes its long notes and long rests, but it sounds so natural.

I must say that these are—and I apologize for employing a non-musical word—the loveliest performances I have ever enjoyed hearing. They are full of grace, light, and project an aura of the sublime that very few other sets possess. Silverman is not trying to prove anything; he appears to have no hidden agenda; he simply plays them naturally. The pianist of whom he reminds me most is Edwin Fischer, who has become for me the artist whose performances seem to flow out of nature itself and, therefore, are profoundly musical. Silverman plays these masterpieces as musically as anyone I have ever heard. I recommend these as highly as possible.


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