Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Opp. 10, 53 'Waldstein', 54 & 57 'Appassionata'

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Paavali Jumppanen has prodigious technique — demonstrated years ago in his recording of the Boulez Sonatas (Deutsche Grammophon), for which he was allegedly hand-picked by the composer himself. That skill shows (but never shows off) in the total ease and control with which he dashes nimbly through Beethoven sonatas at any tempo (see the Waldstein’s first movement). That’s not to suggest he’s necessarily playing fast, even if it averages out on the quicker side: The ‘Hammerklavier’ Sonata, for example, is decidedly slow, way south of Beethoven’s ex-post-facto metro- nome markings. That said, it would be short-changing Jumppanen to make it just about tempi or chops. He is in the midst of delivering one of the most consistently playful, subtly surprising Beethoven cycles around, and the early sonatas are doing much to achieve that end. The F Major Presto of Op. 10/2 superbly embodies these impish qualities; the opening and third movements of Op. 10/3 sound just about perfect: youthful, impetuous, gripping, steady, quick and with perfect delineation. Lively and quirky, too, are the Op. 2 Sonatas, into which Jumppanen inserts personality and interpretation that will make the purist blanch and musicians snigger: a bit of cheek, but never outlandish. Ondine’s direct, close, but not claustrophobic sound is very gratifying—dare I say, ideal!

– Jens F. Laurson, Listen Magazine

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: ODE 1268-2D

  • UPC: 761195126820

  • Label: Ondine

  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

  • Performer: Paavali Jumppanen