Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lazar Berman -- Liszt's Piano Sonata

Well...color me amazed. I couldn't find Paul Lewis's great recording on Youtube (which is one of the best, owing to his long-arched conception bringing coherence to the musical semantics). But I spotted this by Lazar Berman. I'd never heard it. I was curious. It has a different feel than the Lewis one, and it made my hair jump up and my eyeballs spin. He takes CHARGE of this sonata! And his playing reminds me a little of Richter, in the way measures are isolated for intensest retrieval of musical possibility. That is a different approach than Lewis's more holistic traversal.


  1. I would go for Jorge Bolet any day. Bolet seems to me to understand what he is playing so much better than even the 1930s Horowitz - and I have 37 Liszt sonata recordings! Gilels is great too ... but not as 'clear' as Bolet.

  2. Thanks for your input. I like Bolet, Gilels, and Horowitz in a number of things. I stand by my take, here, on Lewis and Berman. My personal, subjective response to how they bring this score to life, especially Berman's audacity.

  3. And you're right -- Bolet's is one of the finest renditions of the Liszt sonata.