The wonders of Michael Houston and modern technology

Go to Naxos Music LibraryA 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.

2 thoughts on “The wonders of Michael Houston and modern technology

  1. Laraine 16 November 2013 / 4:22 pm

    I had promised myself to see Houstoun’s last concert in Rotorua but decided I’d had more than enough expenses for one year (new bed, new fridge, lounge suite repair and what-else-have you) and realised I made the right decision when my 30-year-old food processor broke down and I had yet another expensive purchase to make. I’m so glad you enjoyed the concert. Houstoun is definitely one of our national treasures.

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