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Re: Op 2-1 -- Lewis vs. Kovacevich

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  • johnd012033
    ... members. ... specific Beethoven piano sonata to each other, and hopefully offering reasons why one specific recording is better or worse than another
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 13, 2009
      --- In beethovensonatas@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Mathisen"
      <richard.mathisen@...> wrote:
      >
      > John,
      >
      > Welcome to this group! I also want to welcome a number of other new
      members.
      >
      > The way this group works is by comparing specific recordings of a
      specific Beethoven piano sonata to each other, and hopefully offering
      reasons why one specific recording is better or worse than another
      recording. The topic under discussion now is Beethoven's first piano
      sonata, Op 2 #1.
      >
      > Therefore, I am interpreting your note as asking about a comparison of
      the Paul Lewis recording of Op 2-1 to that of Stephen Kovacevich. It is
      a fascinating comparison.
      >
      > I just played the Lewis recording of Op 2-1 followed by the
      Kovacevich. They are very different. Lewis is relatively slow,
      especially in the first movement. Lewis offers a smell-the-roses
      interpretation, beautiful tone, lots of detail, great engineering, but
      no red blood. I perceive Lewis as slightly distant -- admiring the music
      but not emotionally engaged. Kovacevich is faster in every movement,
      with much more rhythmic vitality.
      >
      > The first movement is especially interesting. Lewis meanders along at
      about 100 to the half note. At such a slow tempo, it sounds almost like
      4/4 time rather than Beethoven's alla breve. Kovacevich takes a very
      fast clip, at about 136. The alla breve rhythm comes through clearly. In
      terms of performance practices in 1795 as well as in regard to my own
      reaction as a listener, I think Kovacevich comes much closer to the
      mark.
      >
      > I think it's fair to generalize these comments to their recordings of
      other Beethoven piano sonatas. Lewis tends toward slower tempos and lots
      of detail and beauty, Kovacevich tends toward quicker tempos
      (occasionally too quick). Both are fine pianists, of course.
      >
      > If you are interested in offering your own comparison of these two
      recordings (Lewis and Kovacevich playing Op 2-1) or your comparisons of
      them to other recordings of Op 2-1, those comments would be welcome in
      this group.
      >
      > Regards!
      >
      > Dick Mathisen
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: johnd012033
      > To: beethovensonatas@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2009 12:26 AM
      > Subject: [beethovensonatas] COMPARE THESE TWO
      >
      >
      > Two of my current favorites are:
      > Paul Lewis & Stephen Kovacevich.
      > Both are very appealing to me, but
      > they are different. How are they
      > different? Can someone help me
      > identify & define that difference?
      > ...johnd012033
      >
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