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Beethoven Piano Pieces

Bagatelles op.33, op.119, op.126, Andante favori, Fur Elise etc

Linda Nicholson (fortepiano)

Accent ACC24180

It is striking how music suddenly sounds "right" on an appropriate instrument. That happens immediately with this valuable collection of Ludwig van Beethoven's Bagatelles and other pieces played on an ornate Fritz fortepiano of c.1815 from Linda Nicholson's own collection (were they recorded at her home in 2007? No other recording information provided).

All amateur pianists will be familiar with many of them, and inevitably with Fur Elise... There is a good essay which clarifies the chronology. The Op 33 bagatelles are from the early 1830s (published 1833). The eleven of Op 119 are heterogeneous, some going back to 1794. The Op 126 set are imperishable late miniature masterpieces from 1824.

The instrument, with a six octave compass, rich powerful bass and four pedals, including moderator and a buzzing fagott, has a broad sound spectrum and is well recorded.

This does not displace my affection for Schnabel's recording of the Bagatelles, but it is an essential acquisition for anyone who takes these minor pieces seriously.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Mozart Piano Sonatas

Linda Nicholson(fortepiano)

Accent ACC24190

Linda Nicholson has followed up her Beethoven recording for Accent with an equally desirable one of four of the most popular Mozart piano sonatas, KV 281,310, 332 & 576 together with the Fantasia in D minor, KV 397.

For these she has chosen a Walter piano (c.1797) from her own collection; as with the Beethoven disc reviewed above, there is no indication of the recording venue, so I assume it was likely done in her own home?

As with the Beethoven disc these accounts are ideal in sound and interpretative style; do add them to your recorded collection of Mozart's keyboard music.

These indispensable recordings will surely become nails in the Steinway coffins; it is hard to believe that people will accept modern pianos for this repertoire much longer?