A few days ago I was lucky enough to attend the final recital in Michael Houston’s Recycle series of Beethoven sonatas. I won’t attempt to add to what the reviewers have already said, suffice to say that is was a wonderful experience.
The final and most remarkable piece he played was the beautiful and spectacular Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111, a sonata so fiendishly difficult that an 85 year piano teacher told me she had never heard it played live before.
She compared his playing to Artur Schnabel, someone who I had always thought of as intellectual and a bit cold. Curious to hear what she was talking about I tried out Naxos Music Library to see if I could listen to Schnabel’s playing.
I could. Not only his version of the sonata, but, Brendel, Barenboim, Gould, Solomon, Kempff, Backhaus, Ashkenazy and Michelangeli, among others. Who would have thought even ten years ago that without owning a single recording of this sonata, I could compare so many great pianists playing it, study it to my heart’s content and not have it cost me a cent?
I continued to listen to Schnabel and completely revised my opinion of him.
I love Naxos Music Library.