Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 7, 21, 32
It is exceptionally interesting to hear now, for the first time, Daniel Barenboim at the age of 27 making his solo debut with an all-Beethoven programme, as Barenboim is today so esteemed and authoritative a figure in so many genres and forms of classical music and, now a mere 74, is heir to older traditions with greater historical depth than any of his contemporaries. At the time Barenboim had only just begun to unfold as a musical all-rounder and was at the zenith of a career that hitherto had concentrated on the piano. In the context of marked divergences between successive generations, common in the music world at that time, Barenboim asserts himself confidently and brilliantly, with remarkable pianistic eloquence and above all an array of musical virtues: the ability to generate tension and great contemplative depth, a highly imaginative conception, a very wide dynamic range and an amazing songfulness which has lost none of its power to captivate – as in the breathtaking slow movement of op. 10 No. 3, in a Waldstein Sonata with a daringly opened-up final movement as well as in an op. 111 with passages of heavenly length in the Arietta.