Wilde plays Beethoven

Three sonatas outlining a progression from the despair of No 17 in D minor, Op 31 No 2 – written at the same time as the start of the famous ‘Heiligenstadt Testament’, when Beethoven’s realisation that his deafness was complete and permanent led him to contemplate suicide – via his courageous fightback, brilliantly expressed in the irrepressible optimism of the ‘Waldstein’, Op 53, towards the lofty spiritual aspirations of No 31 in A flat, Op 110.

"Speculative and original, these performances prompt all listeners to reconsider and think again, and they have been excellently recorded."

"central to each performance is a singular lack of pretensions and self-indulgence...Wilde imbues the Waldstein with a natural majesty and poetic presence; he captures the dark questioning of the D minor Sonata, Op31 No2, with magnetic insistence; and rounds off this compelling disc with a mellifluous but powerful reading of the A flat sonata, Op110. Unpolluted Beethoven, and all the better for it"

"Wilde brings maturity to his treatment of the "Sonata No. 17 in D minor": the melancholy fatalism of the adagio is alleviated by his thoughtful touch. And there's a brilliant momentum to the opening allegro of the "Sonata No. 21 in C", which is replaced by the almost completely static Adagio Molto, which hangs like a sea-mist through which the concluding Rondo is approached. Superb."

"As on earlier Delphian discs from Wilde, the ear is seduced by his beautiful tone (the piano he uses and his technician quite rightly receive a credit), and try the adagios of 'The Tempest' and A flat sonatas for playing of masterly, hushed introspection that makes you hold your breath. Three well-contrasted works presented with deep insight and understanding - and without any distracting idiosyncrasies - the result of experience and long familiarity."

"A Beethoven recital with a flavour all its own. We owe a debt to Delphian for keeping us in contact with a pianist such as David Wilde, whose experience and twinkle-in-the-eye enthusiasm are much in evidence...The sound is not the richest, but the piano's immediacy and rugged power is gratifying as well as being echt for this composer, the instrument's wiry undiluted timbres appropriate to David Wilde’s unvarnished and penetrating performances."


Producer: Paul Baxter
Physical format: Jewel case
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 10
Release date: 28 March 2011
Album ID: DCD34090
Total playing time: 1:11:50

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