The release of the last two volumes (7 & 8) of Schiff’s complete Beethoven Sonatas this autumn finally offers the opportunity to view, and hear, the pianist’s approach to this unique repertoire segment in total. Volume 7, recorded once again live at Tonhalle Zurich, includes the first three of the so-called 'late' sonatas which were written between 1814 and 1822. A highlight in any Beethoven cycle is the 45-minute long 'Hammerklavier' sonata which Schiff - especially with regard to the fast tempo markings by Beethoven - calls "probably the hardest work in the whole repertoire of the piano - technically, structurally, atmospherically, metaphysically."
Reviewers in the UK, Germany and Switzerland expressed their unanimous admiration after Schiff’s recitals with this programme in May 2006, praising the pianist’s structural awareness, his individual approach to musical characters, and outstanding sonic control. A personal and charismatic, yet extremely thorough reading of the musical texts offering many revealing new insights.
Recorded on a Bösendorfer and a Steinway to match the sonatas' different characters.
31st October 2008
“Even in the hairiest passages of the Hammerklavier Sonata Op 106, Schiff's poise never deserts him, while the textural clarity, especially of the inner lines, is always a delight.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.