Beethoven: Eroica Variations, Rondos, Etc / Louis Lortie

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Lortie established his credentials as a Beethoven interpreter at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition with a richly poetic account of the G major Concerto, but has so far refrained from committing any of the piano music to disc. Let me say straight away that these are, to my mind, performances of some stature and depth that can hold their own with any of those listed above—and given their distinction, that is praise indeed? His account of the Eroica Variations is spacious and magisterial, virile yet sensitive, and the wide range of dynamic nuance and keyboard colour is there to illumine Beethoven's textures and not highlight the artist's pianism. He succeeds in communicating the power of Beethoven's imagination: the part-writing in the fugue emerges with a masterly clarity, and is beautifully weighted and balanced.

Lortie gives us an equally unhurried and thoughtful account of the Op. 34 Variations, which is by no means as well represented on disc. Naturally couplings will affect choice: Gilels on DG gives us two sonatas—the D major, Op. 10 No. 3 and the E flat, Op. 31 No. 3; Brendel (Philips) the Op. 126 Bagatelles, and the Ecossaises, WoO83, and Katsaris who is rather synthetically recorded on Teldec, offers the Liszt transcription of the Fifth Symphony. The Chandos recording, made at The Maltings, Snape is of the highest quality; natural, present and with plenty of air round the aural image, every bit as good as (if not better than) some of its rivals.

-- Robert Layton, Gramophone [10/1990]

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: CHAN 8616

  • UPC: 095115861622

  • Label: Chandos

  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

  • Performer: Louis Lortie