Daniel Shapiro

Beethoven Masterworks: Diabelli Variations; Sonata Op. 90

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Pianist Daniel Shapiro knows exactly what he's doing and he does it very, very well. In this 2005 recording -- an aptly but somewhat unfortunately titled disc Beethoven Masterworks -- Shapiro turns in a coupling of a richly human and supremely virtuosic "Diabelli" Variations with a deeply despairing and profoundly consoling Op. 90 Sonata. Shapiro understands that the Variations need a transcendent technique, endless compassion, and a fully developed sense of humor, and he gives it all he's got. Shapiro's performance contains high wit and low slapstick, Largo, molto espressivo melancholy and Fuga: Allegro ecstasy, bawdy lust and unsurpassable serenity. In some ways, Shapiro understands the sonata even better, understands bitter hopelessness and sweet hopefulness, enfolding gloom and enlightening faith, inexorable defeat and unlooked for solace. While these should not be one's only recordings of either work -- start with Schnabel's, Serkin's, and Richter's -- they are still well worth hearing by anyone who loves the music. While Azica's sound is hard and harsh, it is also real and honest and the effect is startling.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Variations (33) on a waltz by Diabelli, for piano in C major ("Diabelli Variations"), Op. 120
1
0:53
2
1:47
3
0:48
4
1:19
5
1:04
6
0:54
7
1:48
8
1:11
9
1:22
10
2:08
11
0:37
12
1:11
13
0:49
14
1:04
15
4:59
16
0:35
17
0:54
18
0:59
19
1:42
20
0:46
21
2:39
22
1:16
23
0:48
24
0:52
25
2:27
26
0:45
27
0:58
28
0:51
29
0:57
30
1:15
31
2:19
32
5:17
33
3:07
34
3:50
Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90
35
5:33
36
8:11
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