Pianist Philippe Entremont was 85 when this album was released in 2019, and you could almost be forgiven for thinking, at the beginning of this Beethoven recital, that he had lost a step. Entremont opens with the Piano Sonata No. 20 in G major, Op. 49, No. 2, an early work intended for piano students, and follows with a straightforward version of the Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 ("Moonlight"), pleasant but unremarkable; then things start to build. The Piano Sonata No. 30 in E minor, Op. 109, is remarkable. Sample the variation finale, where Entremont captures the feeling that the whole movement emerges from a chrysalis and becomes some kind of cosmic living thing. Entremont's tempos are on the slow side, but not any more so than other pianists who have chosen the path of bringing out every note in the brilliant final variations; there is not a moment that he has not considered carefully. Even better is the Piano Sonata No. 23 in F sharp minor, Op. 57 ("Appassionata"), not a violent reading, but a profound piece of drama. A Beethoven recital from a true master, enhanced by excellent studio sound from the Solo Musica label.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Sonata No. 20 Op. 49 in G major|
|Sonata No. 14 Op. 27 in C sharp minor Quasi una Fantasia "Moonlight"|
|Sonata No. 30 Op. 109 in E major|
|Sonata No. 23 Op. 57 in F minor "Appassionata"|