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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2 - Sonatas Nos. 11 - 21 / Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano

Notes & Reviews:

  • Jean-Efflam Bavouzet continues his complete chronological survey of Beethoven's piano sonatas. This three-disc set runs from the Op. 22 Sonata in B flat major to the great 'Waldstein' Sonata Op. 53.
  • The first volume in the series received high praise, with BBC Music Magazine describing his performances as 'distinguished and virtuosic' and Fanfare stating 'his readings will withstand the test of time'.

The Times, 10th January 2014
The nervous, abrupt chords in the first movement of Op 31, No 1 jump out and bite us. He's equally impressive capturing the music's playful mischief and sudden poetic revelations. So much here is brilliantly achieved and so sharply polished that the few moments of dullness take us by surprise.

Financial Times, 11th January 2014
Bavouzet proves he has the elegance for the early sonatas and the pianistic command for Beethoven's larger forms...The "Moonlight" radiates mystery and momentum, the "Tempest" has fabulous intensity (and a graceful touch), while the "Waldstein" is treated to a performance of unmitigated rapture.

The Guardian, 16th January 2014
At its best, his playing is engaging and fresh; there's never a hint of staleness about even the most familiar music...While some might feel increasingly short-changed by these performances, others who admire the polish and assurance of Bavouzet's playing as well as the surface slickness that goes with it, may well enjoy every one of these performances.

BBC Music Magazine, February 2014
He plays a rich-sounding modern instrument, and Chandos supplies its usual feather-bed acoustic. Yet whenever there's a chance to be abrasive, Bavouzet seizes it, and he relishes the opportunities Beethoven gives him to sound wispy and 'French'.

American Record Guide, May/June 2014
In the latest volume of his project to record the complete Beethoven sonatas, Bavouzet's control and clarity are good. Sonata 11 sounds wondrously crisp and clean. His energy and ease contributes to impressive performances.

International Record Review, February 2014
Those following his Beethoven cycle will not be disappointed by what is on offer here and the final volume can be only keenly awaited.

Gramophone Magazine, March 2014
This second volume is lucid yet intense in the poised Opus 31 sonatas and vital in the 'Waldstein.


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