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21.6.09

Beethoven Sonatas - A Survey of Complete Cycles
Part 6, 2000 - 2005


Incl: D.Barenboim IIII.Biret • S.Kovacevich • S.Lipkin • A.Lucchesini • A.Øland • A.Sako • C.SheppardD.A.Wehr • G.Willems




available at Amazon

available at Amazon



Gerard Willems

1997 - 2000 - ABC

The pianos used were Australian Stuart & Sons instruments which differ from a standard grand piano in a few salient points and promise, among other factors, greater dynamics and increased sustain. (Nigel Tufnel approves: This piano's number of pedals goes to four!) Recorded at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music.

Availability - directly from Australia.


Country /
Label
USA UK France Germany
ABC 2003
No


No


(Import)

Import
ABC 2013 +
Concerti & Diabellis

Import


Yes


Import

Yes (2014)


available at ArkivMusic



Anne Øland

1995 - 2001 -
T.I.M.

Availability:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
T.I.M.

Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes



available at ArkivMusic



Andrea Lucchesini

1999 - 2001 - Stradivarius

Availability:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
Stradivarius
No


No


No

No


available at Amazon



Akiyoshi Sako

2001* - Camerata

Live recordings from Kobe Shimbun Matsukata Hall. Nine individ. volumes which can, with some effort, be tracked down on Amazon. (* Patching sessions done in 2003.)

Availability:

Country / LabelUSAUKFranceGermany
Camerata
Yes


Perhaps


Maybe

Possibly


available at Amazon


available at Amazon





Stephen Kovacevich

1992 - 2003 - EMI / Warner
I remember the Gramophone Magazine fuelled hype well, when this came out. It felt disingenuine, shortly after the magazine had felt EMI's brunt for not backing the Rattle-Vienna Beethoven Symphony cycle sufficiently. Especially given all that lavish praise, it went out of print surprisingly fast. It's now, 2017, been re-issued by Warner. (Which have of course acquired the EMI Classics catalogue in the meantime.)
Availability:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
EMI 2003
oop


oop


oop

oop
Country / Label USA UK France Germany
Warner 2017
Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes


available at Amazon



Ichiro Nodaira

1998 - 2003 - Nami / Livenotes
Available in Japan in 12 volumes on 12 CDs. Very complete, incl. Diabelli Variations, the WoO 47 Sonatas, et al.

Availability:


Country / Label USA UK Japan Germany
EMI
No


No


Yes


No



available at ArkivMusic



David Allen Wehr

1998 - 2004 - Connoisseur Society

Piano used was a Yamaha CF111S.

Availability:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
Connoisseur
Yes


1 - 2 - 3 - 4


1 - 2 - 3 - 4

1 - 2 - 3 - 4


available at Amazon

Beethoven Sonata Survey



Seymour Lipkin
(stereo)
2002 - 2004 - Newport Classics

Recorded at the Curtis Institute where Lipkin is on the piano and chamber music faculty. (He also teaches at Juilliard.) The cycle is available on CD as three sets of three discs or on one CD ROM as mp3 which comes with the complete score, as well.

Availability:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
Newport Classics
1 - 2 - 3


1 - 2 - 3


1 - 2 - 3


1 - 2 - 3

Newport mp3
Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes


available at Amazon



Craig Sheppard

2003 - 2004 - Romeo Records

Availability:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
Romeo Records

Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes


available at Amazon



Idil Biret

1994 - 2005 - IBA

This sonata cycle is part of a Beethoven Edition that launched Idil Biret's own label, Idil Biret Archive. It's practically (if not technically) a sub-label of Naxos, the company that has brought her from relative obscurity to becoming a household name. The Beethoven Edition will include not only the sonatas and concertos but also Liszt's Symphony transcriptions which are being re-released on CD for the first time since Biret took them down on LP for EMI in the mid-eighties. The whole thing is also available as one massive 20 CD box.

Availability:

Country / LabelUSAUKFranceGermany
IBA
Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes


Complete Beethoven Sonatas Barenboim

Beethoven Sonata Cycles, Barenboim



Daniel Barenboim III

2005 - EMI (DVD)

Live performances of the complete sonatas at the Staatsoper Unter der Linden in Berlin, paired with masterclasses. The soundtrack (as it were) has since been released on Decca, as part of their "Beethoven for All" series.

Availability:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
EMI DVD

Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes
Decca 2012

Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes


This listing of all Beethoven Sonata Cycles will continue as more sets reach completion or as I find more information about sets already completed.* There are certainly plenty sets under way that should or may reach completion soon: Among them Angela Hewitt (Hyperion), Igor Tchetuev (Caro Mitis), Jonathan Biss (Onyx), Akihiro Sakiya (DPIC Entertainment), Martin Roscoe (Deux-Elles), James Brawn (MSR), Paavali Jumppanen (Ondine) [Completed & Added], Yusuke Kikuchi (Triton) [Completed & Added] et al. I will also add a selection of historically important attempted cycles that were never finished but include >20 >9 sonatas. That would add Rudolf Serkin (CBS, 10 sonatas missing), Bruce Hungerford (Vanguard / Piano Classics, also 10 sonatas missing), Emil Gilels (DG, opp.2/1, 14/1, 54, 78, 111), and Glenn Gould (CBS/Sony, opp.7, 22, 49, 53, 79, 81a, 90 missing, op.106 separate, opp.7 [partly], 49/1, 101 available on CBC recordings). There are seemingly abandoned cycles that will not be included, such as those of  Giovanni Belluci,  Bruno Leonardo Gelber,  Yoshihiro Kondo, or  Per Tengstrand. There are cycles that are unworthy of discussion or outright fraudulent, i.e. not actual piano playing and/or of excrutiating quality and/or cobbled together from other performances. Most famously Joyce Hatto, but apparently also Vladimir Morrone, Giancarlo Andretti, Alicja Kot, and Claudio Colombo.**

* If you count, as I did, Backhaus II and Arrau II as complete, despite one and two (respectively) missing sonatas. I do not count Walter Gieseking (tapes of 4, 5, 7, 20, 22 for a radio cycle are lost, a studio cycle for EMI was missing seven sonatas when he died), Wilhelm Kempff "0" (Polydor, opp.2/3, 22, 27/1, 28, 31/2, 101 missing).

** Invaluable research on this end done by Todd, resident Beethoven-Sonata expert (and addict) at the Good Music Guide Forum.


The (Great) Incomplete Cycles
Part 1: 1935 - 1969
Part 2: 1967 - 1974
Part 3: 1977 - 1989
Part 4: 1990 - 1996
Part 5: 1996 - 1999

Part 7: 2006 - 2009
Ronald Brautigam Special
Part 8: 2010 - 2013
Part 9: 2014 - 2016
Part 10: 2017 - ____


If you have additional information about recording dates, availability, cover art -- or corrections and additions -- your input is much appreciated.

This survey is meant to list all complete sets of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas and their availability in different markets, not to review them.

Discographies on ionarts: Bach Organ Cycles | Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycles I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX | Beethoven Symphony Cycles Index | Beethoven String Quartet Cycles | Bruckner Symphony Cycles | Dvořák Symphony Cycles | Shostakovich Symphony Cycles | Sibelius Symphony Cycles | Mozart Keyboard Sonata Cycles



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