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Cat. No. CHAN 10720(3) Price: 21 No. of discs: 3
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CHAN 10720 - Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Volume 1
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Available From: 15 April 2012

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Volume 1 – Jean-Efflam Bavouzet

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is starting a complete, chronological survey of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, to run parallel with his complete Haydn sonatas series. This first box set covers the sonatas composed in the 1790s. Two further volumes, of middle and late sonatas respectively, will follow in 2013 and 2014. Each three-disc box set in the series will be available as the price of two CDs.

In a recent cover feature in International Piano, Michael Church spoke with the pianist about the new project and reported: ‘For Bavouzet, the particular pleasure of coming to Beethoven after Haydn lies in the fact that although their basic harmonic language is roughly the same, in Beethoven’s scores the dynamics are clearly indicated, especially where they seem completely independent of the music’s so-called natural harmonic tensions.’ Bavouzet added: ‘The accents are in exactly the wrong place, and that’s what creates his music’s excitement. I am so happy to have these two streams of my work running side by side for the next few years.’


                            *** - Good

Luca Segalla – Musica magazine – October 2013

                   Recording of the Month

"...There’s a clean directness about Bavouzet’s playing which matches the youthful fire of these sonatas and presents them as if freshly minted. In sum these three discs bring to our ears a significant achievement."
Michael Greenhalgh - MusicWeb-International.com - 20 February 2013

                       Recording of the Month

“...There’s a clean directness about Bavouzet’s playing which matches the youthful fire of these sonatas and presents them as if freshly minted. In sum these three discs bring to our ears a significant achievement.
Michael Greenhalgh – MusicWeb-International.com – May 2012

“...Chandos’s recordings, made between 2008 and 2011 in Suffolk’s Potton Hall, Dunwich, are exemplary, capturing Bavouzet’s Steinway Model D in rock-solid, full-bodied sound, and the booklet essay by William Drabkin, furnished with a number of musical examples, is well written and highly informative. When it comes to Beethoven, Bavouzet is the equivalent of a strict Constitutional constructionist. His readings will withstand the test of time.”
Jerry Dubins – Fanfare – November/December 2012


Remy Franck - Pizzicato magazine - November 2012

Christopher Breunig - HiFiNews Yearbook 2012

"...Bavouzet’s playing shines a light on the prodigious confidence and brilliance of these early (1793-98) works, all composed when Beethoven was in his early-twenties. It will be fascinating to hear what Bavouzet does with the middle-period ‘Waldstein’ and ‘Appassionata’ as well as the far-seeing late sonatas."

Peter Reed - the classicalsource.com - 13 September 2012

“...gorgeously played...”

Koldys – American Record Guide – September/October 2012 

       ‘International Piano Choice’
“Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is without doubt one of today’s most intelligent and questing pianists ... he seems to excel in all that he touches. The freshness of his Haydn means that his affinity with early Beethoven should come as know surprise... This is a significant, fascinating issue.”
Colin Clarke – International Piano magazine – September/October 2012

“...his [Bavouzet] playing is immaculate...”
Nalen Anthoni – Gramophone magazine – August 2012

               Performance ****      Recording *****
"...Bavouzet’s performances are distinguished and virtuosic ... Chandos has provided him with luscious recorded sound, which allows for planty of air round the notes, so all told this is a most desirable set overall."
Michael Tanner - BBC Music magazine - July 2012

“...Throughout Bavouzet conjures a Haydn-like clarity, and has none of the swagger of a pianist liek Barenboim. Once you get used to his restrained scale, the underlying power and musicality shine out.”
Ivan Hewett – The Telegraph – 9 June 2012

“...On the basis of this first instalment, he [Bavouzet] has much to say about this music that is relevant and necessary: one can only look forward to the continuation of his cycle.”
Richard Whitehouse – International Record Review – June 2012

“...Bavouzet’s fingers, precise in touch, sometimes witty and mischievous, make Haydn’s heritage clearly audible. But Beethoven’s marks are ever present in dramatic interjections, lurching dynamics, cliff-hanging leaps, and all sorts of rhythmic and structural games. Bavouzet’s playfulness is especially valuable ... Bavouzet equally connects with the music’s soul sculpting the Pathétique’s grave opening  chords to ensure they cast a long shadow, and memorably guiding the slow movement of op 10 no 3 into the heart of darkness. He also offers a novelty: a reconstruction of the four-movement version of op 10 no 1, fascinating to hear ...”  ****
Geoff Brown – The Times – 25 May 2012

“...Bavouzet’s Beethoven – here embracing the first 10 sonatas, including the ‘Grande Sonate’ and ‘Pathétique’, all written before 1800 – is consistently engaging in its imaginative scope, stylistic freedom and technical fearlessness...”  *****
Andrew Clark – The Financial Times – 26 May 2012

         Editor’s Choice
“Jean-Efflam Bavouzet enters a very crowded field with this new sonata disc. And what an entrance! ... Bavouzet’s drive, rhythmic attack and wonderful, unsentimental approach to the slow movements make this disc of early sonatas so fascinating. As with his Debussy recordings, he is a stern observer of the printed score. Here is a Beethoven with all the youthful vigour and verve one could wish for!! *****
Pianist magazine – June/July 2012


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