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Schiff on Beethoven

Over the past two years, Andras Schiff played the entire Beethoven sonata cycle in a series of concerts.  As I recall, he played them only in Chicago, Ann Arbor, and New York (Carnegie Hall, natch).  I attended all of the Ann Arbor performances.  They were delightful: Schiff brought a different, very thoughtful and warm sensibility to the pieces, emphasizing interpretation over tempo and dazzling technique (though, nonetheless, his playing was always clean and respectful of the score — so much so that he played the first movement of the Moonlight with the pedal down the entire time: go check your score).

A friend just alerted me to a wonderful resource: Schiff gave a series of lecture – demonstrations on the entire cycle, which has been published online by The Guardian.  I just listened to him play and talk through the entire Op 10 No 2, F Major, which I have recently been playing and performing.  His comments are like his playing: thoughtful, restrained, but admiring and warm.  I got several new ideas, and really enjoyed detailed discussion.  Not as scholarly as Robert Greenberg’s well known (Learning Company) lectures on the Beethoven sonatas, but very informative to a performer.

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