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30.6.09

Beethoven Sonatas - A Survey of Complete Cycles
Part 7, 2006 - 2009


Incl: R.BrautigamP.Lewis • J.Muller • I.Nakamichi • G.OhlssonG.Oppitz • K.W.Paik • A.Schiff • S.Sugitani • P.Takács • D.Varínska




Not really available at Amazon

Ikuyo Nakamichi

2003 - 2006 - BMG Japan

Ikuyo Nakamichi studied under Mitsuko Kinpara, Phyllis Rappaport (Michigan), Kazuhiko Nakajima and Prof. Klaus Schilde at the Hochschule fur Musik in Munich on a scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Cultural Affairs. In 1982 Nakamichi won first and the Masuzawa Prize at the 51st Annual Japan Music Competition.


Available in Japan and:

Country / LabelUSAUKFranceGermany
BMG Japan

Not really


Imports


Imports

Imports


available at Amazon



Gerhard Oppitz

2004 - 2006 - Hänssler

Oppitz' Beethoven cycle flew under the radar, compared to those of Schiff and Lewis, but it is, along with those two, one of the most notable to have been produced in this decade. I've not come across anything fancy in this cycle, but some astonishingly fine playing.


Availability (previously in eight individual volumes, now also as a box):

Country / LabelUSAUKFranceGermany
Hänssler
Yes
Box


Yes
Box


Yes
Box


Yes
Box



available at ArkivMusic




Garrick Ohlsson

1992 - 2007 -
Bridge (Arabesque)


Availability (in eight individual volumes):


Country / LabelUSAUKFranceGermany
Bridge

Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes



available at ArkivMusic



Peter Takács

2001 - 2007 - Cambria Records


Extraordinarily complete and lavishly presented set of 11 SACDs that includes all 38 (!) Sonatas ("Elector Sonatas" WoO 47 1-3, "Two Easy Sonatas" WoO 50 & 51, Sonata for Four Hands in D-major, op.6) and the Andante favori WoO57.

Availability:



Country / LabelUSAUKFranceGermany
Cambria Records

Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes



available at ArkivMusic



András Schiff

2004 - 2007 - ECM

Schiff used a Boesendorfer and a Steinway Grand for these recordings, taped live (except for the last three sonatas) and played in sequence. A review of volume one exists here. Charles has reviewed several other volumes as they came out.

Availability (in eight individual volumes):



Country / LabelUSAUKFranceGermany
ECM
Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes



available at ArkivMusic



Paul Lewis

2004 - 2007 - Harmonia Mundi

Availability (in four volumes and complete):


Country / LabelUSAUKFranceGermany
Harmonia Mundi

Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes


available at Amazon



Kun-Woo Paik

2005 - 2007 - Decca (Korea)


Perhaps Decca sent up a test-balloon in the West when they released one volume of this cycle world wide. After that it was back to releases for the Asian (Korean?) market only.


Availability of Sonatas 16-26 (complete set only in Asia):


Country / LabelUSAUKFranceGermany
Decca

Partial


Partial


Partial


Partial




available at ArkivMusic



Shoko Sugitani

???? - 2007? - IDC Classic

Not available as far as I know. (Volume 11 found on HMV.co.jp)




Daniela Varínska

???? - 2009? - Diskant

Available (9 of 11? volumes) from Slovakia or in Japan.
available at Amazon.de


available at Amazon.de



Ronald Brautigam

2003 - 2008 (& beyond) - BIS


Among the myriad of new Beethoven cycles flooding the market, this is one of the select few that are consistently exciting, fresh, and superbly played throughout. The fact that it uses original instrument helps, but it isn't the key to this cycle's qualities, nor the key to enjoying it. The instruments (delightful, marvelous Paul McNulty creations) sound so great that even the "HIP-averse" ought to sample and see if they can't be converted. Volumes 1-8 contain all the standard 32 sonatas, volume nine all the non-standard sonatas, and the following volumes all the Bagatelles, Piano Pieces, and Variations. This makes this the most complete cycle by one pianist, ahead of Peter Takács' (see above).
Update:The complete set has now been released, on SACD, as below.


Availability:


Country / LabelUSAUKFranceGermany
BIS
(individually)

Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes
BIS
(box)

Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes


available at Amazon.de



Jean Muller

2007 - 2009 - Bella Musica


Live recordings from a young Luxenburgian pianist.

Availability:


Country / LabelUSAUKFranceGermany
Bella Musica

mp3 only


Yes


Yes

Yes






Part 1: 1935 - 1969
Part 2: 1967 - 1974
Part 3: 1977 - 1989
Part 4: 1990 - 1996
Part 5: 1996 - 1999
Part 6: 2000 - 2005
Ronald Brautigam Special
Part 8: 2010 - onward



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.

There are still cycles that I have overlooked or which are still missing vital information. Many of them were/are only distributed on the Asian market. Any further information about these would be much appreciated. Many thanks to Richard Winton, at this point, for vital help confirming the existence of--and supplying information for--Michael Steinberg's cycle (originally on Elysium LPs).