Originally Posted by Shosta I don't know the answer to your question, but to the second part I think Bach it's 'perfection and humanity'. If I think it twice, i can think the same of Beethoven music.
Perhaps it's a matter of balance between the two criteria. We tend to think that Bach is perfection and Beethoven is humanity.
But as a refute I had a big emotional experience reading the apocrypha Short Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach listening to Bach music (For example, the prelude of the first suite for cello solo or Matthaus Passion).
And the Diabelli Variations are an example of perfection (from almost nothing). Watch Piotr Anderszewski DVD / (Directed by Bruno Monsaingeon).
So in the end, perhaps that's why they are great composers: perfection and humanity.
I think you are right on the money, which is why I always saw the comparison in artistic or architectural terms. If you want the gamut of emotions in Bach, only go to his Cantata 21, My heart was sorely troubled. It is all about despair and hope.
Good suggestion! I bought that over 25 years ago when it first came out (vinyl). Another good suggestion for a first Beethoven sonata foray is the Serkin Expanded Edition, which has the three named sonatas: Moonlight, Pathetique, Appassionata, and a previously unpublished performance of Les Adieux which sparkles.
I am listening to Richard Goode playing a delightful Mozart Concerto No 27 (with the Orpheus CO) while I read this thread. Funny nobody mentioned the All-American Goode/Nonesuch which is one of the top recommendations of various UK guides. As I am still waiting to receive this set, I'll comment later...
EDIT: ehr I should read a thread before posting. Tyson (of course) had already commented on Goode.
On the topic of Beethoven Piano Sonata recordings, I have a complete set from Elektra/Erato. This was issued in three separate boxes around 1992. The pianist is Jean-Bernard Pommier. I liked the sound and the pianist's playing when I ran across the recordings originally.
Does anybody know anything about these? I don't recall ever seeing a review, and the pianist is otherwise unknown to me. Curious because I noticed that the series is no longer in the catalog, but used prices on Amazon are ridiculous.
If you really want to see expensive, look up the recordings of the Auryn Quartett and anyother recordings on the TACET label. TACET specializes in dvd-a and sacd (non hybrid) and they charge enormous amounts for discs that hold tons of music. Interestingly, you can't rip any of it because they don't have a stereo layer so I don't buy it, despite the rave reviews of performances.