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  Caro Mitis -
  CM 0042005
  Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas Vol. 1 - Igor Tchetuev
  Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 7 in D major Op. 10 No. 3, Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor Op. 57 "Appassionata", Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat major Op. 81a "Les Adieux"

Igor Tchetuev (piano)
Track listing:
  Classical - Instrumental
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 6 show all

Reviews: 2

Site review by akiralx January 22, 2007
Performance:   Sonics:  
I bought this SACD on a whim, as it includes two of my favourite sonatas, the op.10 No. 3 in D, and the Appassionata. Plus the Les Adieux is always enjoyable. I’d never heard of the label or the pianist so it was really a pig in a poke. It’s apparently volume 1 of a sonata cycle.

On first listening I’m really stunned, because Tchetuev has managed to set down the best version of the early sonata that I’ve heard – and for which I’ve been looking for quite a few years, going through recordings by Solomon, Arrau, Barenboim, Gulda, Pollini, Brendel, Kovacevich and others. Until now it was Richter (Prague or Helsinki) and Perahia whom I turned to, but Tchetuev is my new benchmark – why, may you ask?

First his Fazioli piano is in ideal condition and sounds glorious – the tone is not really different to a Steinway, it has a great bass and mid range plus a clean treble, a superb sound all in all. The venue is an ideal-sized hall, and the recording is quite superb.

Of course all this would mean little if the playing was unremarkable, but Tchetuev plays with a perfect combination of taste, imagination and flair. He can play with a gorgeous velvety legato when needed – but also forte and fortissimo without banging (the loud descending passage in the treble 12 seconds into the D major can set my teeth on edge in many recordings – not here). His touch in voicing chords is absolutely marvellous as well.

The famous ‘largo e mesto’ slow movement is given an outstanding performance, perfectly judged at an ideal tempo, and the last two movements combine wit and spirit as in Richter’s interpretation.

OK, you may say, so he does an early sonata really well – but what about the Appassionata? That’s a work recorded by virtually every Beethoven pianist of note, and we've probably all heard quite a few good ones. Well, blow me if Tchetuev hasn’t nailed this one as well – in fact I can’t think of a performance I’d rather hear in future. Again his touch and sense of structure is ideal with the more powerful passages played with a robust fortissimo without the the sense that he’s trying to push the piano through the floor.

Also he’s correctly realised that the slow movement doesn’t work at anything slower than a flowing seven minute Andante con moto (as marked) rather than a dirge as with many other more famous pianists.

The ‘Les Adieux’ sonata (a more straightforward work interpretatively) is given another fine performance, very enjoyable – which allows one just to appreciate the superb recording with its full but refined bass, and to hear the clarity of the soloist's passagework in the finale.

Sonically the disc is outstanding, listening in stereo via my Stax earspeakers I was in pianistic nirvana. I'm giving this 5/5 which is a rarity for me. Criticisms? Well, this disc is one of those where the spine label is the wrong way up when it's on the shelf. Apart from that, I'm at a loss.

This SACD was something of a revelation – I can’t wait for the next disc in the cycle!

Review by JJ July 2, 2007 (8 of 13 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Disons-le d’emblée, ce premier volume d’une nouvelle intégrale des Sonates pour Piano de Beethoven sous les doigts d’Igor Tchetuev est en tous points remarquables. Igor Tchetuev, souvenez-vous, c’est le prodigieux enregistrement, ayant obtenu un Opus d’Or, des Sonates pour Piano d’Alfred Schnittke paru chez Caro Mitis également. Mais le jeune pianiste russe c’est aussi un style, un son et un toucher uniques. Le programme propose les Sonates N°7, 23 et 26. Cette dernière, en mi bémol majeur « Les Adieux », prend une signification particulière lorsque Tchetuev l’aborde avec une tendresse infinie, rendant à l’œuvre son inspiration originelle. Toutefois, nous le savons, Beethoven n’était pas satisfait du titre imposé par son éditeur auquel il répliqua : « Lebewohl est tout autre chose que « Les Adieux » ; on ne dit le premier qu’à une seule personne, et de cœur seulement, l’autre à toute une assemblée, à des villes entières ». La Sonate N°23 en fa mineur « Appassionata » Op. 57 fut publiée au début de l’année 1807 et considérée par le musicien lui-même « comme sa plus grande ». Igor Tchetuev, là encore déploie un style original offrant à l’architecture de l’œuvre une clarté d’ensemble des plus subtiles. Quant à la Sonate N°7 en ré majeur Op. 10 N°3 dédiée à la comtesse de Browne, en quatre mouvements, elle comporte un largo dont Beethoven parlera des années plus tard en ces termes : « Chacun sentira bien dans ce Largo l’état d’âme en proie à la mélancolie avec les différentes nuances de lumière et d’ombre ». La aussi, les doigts d’Igor Tchetuev font merveilles. Pour conclure, saluons une prise de son en pur DSD restituant parfaitement le timbre et les harmoniques du piano Fazioli utilisé. A la fois chaleureuse, précise et exemplaire celle-ci est un atout considérable pour ce qui s’annonce comme une des références modernes incontournables des Sonates pour Piano de Beethoven.

Jean-Jacques Millo

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Works: 3  

Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata"
Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat, Op. 81a "Les adieux"
Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 7 in D major, Op. 10 No. 3