February 17, 2015 |
When, exactly, Rudolf Buchbinder moved into the front ranks of concert pianists is hard to pinpoint. He has been in evidence since entering (but not winning) the 1966 Van Cliburn Competition and has long insinuated himself through European-made recordings centering on Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms. They exude solidity and remind you that the middle of the road can be as stimulating as the outer fringe. At 68, Buchbinder only now has made his solo recital debut here, presented Friday at the Kimmel Center by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
February 7, 2015 |
Most siblings look back on a childhood of pick-up football games and getting into scrapes together. Ashley, Daniel, and Andrew Hsu, on the other hand, may remember the time they played Beethoven's last three piano sonatas on a single program while still students at the Curtis Institute of Music. That time was Wednesday night in Field Concert Hall. They could have chosen a strand of Beethoven bagatelles, or taken turns with the Goldberg Variations, if the only point had been to play up the familial connection.
February 10, 2012 |
Somebody needed to program the orphans in Beethoven's output, and pianist Anton Kuerti was the one to do it at his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital Wednesday at the Kimmel Center. Never a glamour pianist, the 73-year-old Vienna-born, Canada-based Kuerti - his hair longer and wilder than ever - has been performing cycles of Beethoven sonatas for as far back as I can remember (40 years) and is a model of nonapologist performers. As majestic as Beethoven can be, his piano sonatas contain some of his most private music - cranky, quirky, and not always clear in what it has to say, especially pieces published not in a litter, but by themselves, without catchy subtitles or nicknames.
January 13, 2012 |
Even when the piano on the Perelman Theater stage is a sturdy Steinway concert grand, an on-site tuner is needed when the recitalist is Vladimir Feltsman. On Wednesday, the need arose first at intermission, after a pair of Haydn sonatas. Then, midway through Chopin's four ballades, more was required, though Feltsman probably wouldn't have stopped otherwise for anything less than an earthquake. The 60-year-old Russian-born, U.S.-based pianist is not a pounder. But he plays a piano as though he is speaking through it. And he has a lot to say, which meant that the Haydn Piano Sonatas No. 34 and 49 - conversational even in the most conventional performances - have rarely seemed more eventful.
October 19, 2010 |
NEW YORK - Though one of the foremost pianists of his generation, Till Fellner requires a detailed artistic introduction. Fellner, born and raised in Vienna and star student of the legendary Alfred Brendel, takes on the most substantial repertoire at the earlyish age of 38 and tends to triumph. His ECM-label recording of The Well-Tempered Clavier is one of the most highly acclaimed discs of its kind in recent years. Now, he's finishing up a three-year complete cycle of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas and recently added Philadelphia to his American tour, filling in for an indisposed Ivan Moravec in a Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert at 8 Tuesday night at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater.
October 26, 2008 |
Pianist Andras Schiff invites history's great composers into his life like artists in residence - for years at a time - with comprehensive, often undivided attention. The current object of his artistic serial monogamy is Beethoven's 32 sonatas: By next spring he will have played 20 complete cycles around the world over the last few years, as well as many miscellaneous one-offs, among them his all-Beethoven program presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society at 8 p.m. Friday at the Kimmel Center.
June 18, 2003 |
I ADMIT IT. Schumann's music has always eluded me. Sure, there are a few pretty piano works and some lovely songs, but I've never been convinced by the larger works. They always seemed like miniatures inflated beyond their inspiration, imitating Schubert while awaiting Brahms. Well, the Philadelphia Orchestra's three-CD set of Schumann's music has brought me much closer. I'm not yet an enthusiastic convert like recording engineer George Blood, but there's no denying these works' considerable appeal.
May 3, 1996 |
It was conceived as a marathon performance of all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas. But 11 sonatas and a couple of themes and variations ain't bad, either. That's what eight pianists will play Saturday in a seven-hour event being billed as "A Beethoven Sonatathon. " "We were looking for ways to add excitement to the orchestra's Beethoven Festival," says David Pocock, the Philadelphia Orchestra's education director, who organized the event. "I came here from the [Irving S.] Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Michigan, and one of the most successful things we did there was a Beethoven sonata festival.
March 22, 1993 |
Franz Schubert, music's greatest melodist, is known for his art songs. His piano sonatas are not so well-known, but, points out pianist Andras Schiff, apart from songs, the piano sonata was the only important musical form the composer worked on throughout his life. Tonight, Schiff will devote his piano recital at the Port of History Museum to three of Schubert's 18 sonatas - the A-flat Major, D. 557; B Major, D. 575 and G Major, D. 894. At 40, Hungarian-born Schiff is at the younger end of a generation of pianists, Radu Lupu and Richard Goode among them, distinguished for their gravity and tonal beauty.
October 11, 1989 |
Because Beethoven returned again and again to a kind of music - piano sonatas, string quartets, trios - one or two of each genre tend to stand for the whole catalog. Audiences hear the same three piano sonatas, and the same two violin sonatas, from those who hope to be known as Beethoven performers without having to understand the whole musical landscape. In their Beethoven recital last night at the Port of History Museum, pianist Peter Serkin and violinist Young Uck Kim played some of the other violin sonatas, the relatively early ones that show Beethoven searching, testing, and growing.