Thursday, December 31, 2009

András Schiff: Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas and Lectures

"Life can't be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years." - William F. Buckley, Jr

Life is even better when you can get access to hundreds of different interpretations of Beethoven sonatas through Spotify:)

Schiff's complete piano sonatas on ECM, together with Paul Lewis's magnificent set on Harmonia Mundi (which is sadly not available on Spotify at this moment), are among the very best Beethoven recordings I've ever heard. Temperamentally Schiff is close to Edwin Fischer, who made the first, and still my favourite complete recording of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, and Lewis more close to, of course, his mentor Alfred Brendel, whose fourth(!) complete Beethoven piano sonatas on Philips in the late 90s is perhap the best stereo set. The sound quality of Schiff and Lewis' sets is admirable.

Here's the playlist, to be more precisely, the search result for Schiff's set on Spotify:

Here's Schiff's 32 lectures on the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas, available on the Guardian:,,1943867,00.html

Happy listening:)