Friday, April 10, 2009

Beethoven: Diabelli Variations; Bach; Partita No. 4

Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach (Composers)
Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Audio CD (2009)
Label: Onyx 4035

"For his Onyx label debut Stephen Kovacevich revisits Beethoven's Diabelli Variations for the first time on disc in nearly 40 years. His 1969 Philips recording always impressed me for its unflinching technical control and fusion of objectivity and pent-up emotion.
However, the pianist's remake proves no less remarkable, though quite different. He brings more color, dynamic variety, and character to the music now, and is not afraid to take both technical and musical risks to achieve maximum expressive impact, such as a slightly rushing crescendo here, slamming down the sustain pedal there, giving his hands no quarter in pursuit of Variation 28's relentless rhythmic drive, or cheekily eliding Variation 25's concluding bar into Variation 26's opening." Classics Today


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