Artist: Alexandre Tharaud
Album: Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos 30-32
Release Date: 2018
Audio Format: FLAC (tracks) 24bit, 96 kHz
Total Tracks: 8
Total Size: 956 MB
1-2. Alexandre Tharaud – Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109 – II. Prestissimo (02:18)
1-3. Alexandre Tharaud – Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109 – III. Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung. Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo (12:50)
1-4. Alexandre Tharaud – Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-Flat Major, Op. 110 – I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo (06:30)
1-5. Alexandre Tharaud – Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-Flat Major, Op. 110 – II. Allegro molto (02:19)
1-6. Alexandre Tharaud – Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-Flat Major, Op. 110 – III. Adagio, ma non troppo – Fuga; Allegro, ma non troppo (10:15)
1-7. Alexandre Tharaud – Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111 – I. Maestoso – Allegro con brio ed appassionato (08:42)
1-8. Alexandre Tharaud – Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111 – II. Arietta – Adagio molto semplice e cantabile (15:42)
“Alexandre Tharaud is a musician of wide interests, as compelling in the Baroque as he is delightful in a favourite disc of mine, ‘Le boeuf sur le toit’ (12/12). Now he has gone mainstream, with Beethoven’s last three sonatas.
The same traits come through in the remaining two sonatas. To generalise, Tharaud is most convincing in the more moderately tempered music: he imbues the first movement of Op 110 with a refreshing airiness but the second (Allegro molto) is slightly careful-sounding, the rough edges sanded smooth. How much more drive Uchida finds here without ever resorting to ugliness. Whereas she has you hanging on her every note, Tharaud sounds as if he’s still feeling his way in this repertoire. The following Adagio is beautifully shaded, and when the fugue enters he gives it a Bachian feel, molto legato, pacing the build-up to the climax well. But as the emotional temperature hots up, Tharaud can’t find the necessary edge of desperation.
That is true of the first movement of Op 111 too, whose opening misses the vital tension that makes Bavouzet’s version stand out, with his grandeur of vision in the Maestoso and a mightiness of intent in the following Allegro. Tharaud’s Arietta theme is, on the other hand, tenderly given, and I liked his sense of growth as the variations develop. I was, however, slightly surprised he didn’t make more of the anarchically jazzy third one, though the high-lying writing in the fourth is given an iridescent glow. And yet, as the trilling travels ever higher up the keyboard, it’s not as ethereal in effect as the finest, Uchida and Levit both extraordinarily intense by comparison. While Tharaud’s quiet coda is suitably valedictory, it doesn’t feel as if he has travelled as far as some in this work.” (Harriet Smith, Gramophone)