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Beethoven & Mozart - Lubimov & Bezuidenhout

Beethoven: Late Piano Sonata
Op 109, 110 and 111

Alexeï Lubimov
Alois Graf piano (1828) restored & tuned by Edwin Beunk

ZigZag Territoires ZZT 110103

Mozart: Keyboard Music Volume 2

Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, K330
Rondo in A minor, K511
Rondo in D major, K485
Adagio in B minor, K540
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K457

Kristian Bezuidenhout
Fortepiano by Paul McNulty after Anton Walter & Sohn, Vienna, c. 1802

Harmonia Mundi HMU 907498

These releases represent the acme of practical scholarship, with superb period instruments superbly recorded by two of the best period keyboard players now before the public.

Alexeï Lubimov (b. 1944) is an important pianist and fortepianist of an older generation. On modern piano (see recent review of Rachmaninoff) Lubimov has released a fine recording of the Schubert impromptus - miraculous accounts, perfectly engineered, deeply moving to hear and hear again - and, if possible, he caps it now with really great performances of the last 3 Beethoven sonatas. After hearing this, I defy you to remain completely comfortable with most of the numerous accounts of those on Steinways...

At the Moscow Conservatory in the 1960s Lubimov established an early passion for traditional instruments and in the '70s founded the Moscow Baroque Quartet and was able to pioneer harpsichord and fortepiano performances in the USSR. He recorded the complete Mozart piano sonatas in 1990 (Erato) - see Gramophone's review. His boxed set, a typical intégrale as favoured in France, is re-issued, c. £18 from Amazon.

Bezuidenhout's Volume 2 selection, with two sonatas and several separate pieces, was released at the time of his ground breaking Wigmore Hall concert, and it is is more of a recital programme; it fulfils the highest expectations and has the benefit of historical and analytical notes by John Irving, the renowned Mozart scholar. The Adagio K 540 of 1788, nearly 16 minutes long, makes for a dark centre to the programme. The image R shows his recently changed appearance...

Both these newer releases deserve pride of places on your classical keyboard shelves, but Lubimov's Mozart should not be overlooked.

Peter Grahame Woolf