Rudolf Buchbinder: Beethoven – The Piano Sonatas
Intimate concerts bringing Beethoven’s genius to life
This article is from 2015.
Bringing the Playfair Library in Edinburgh University’s Old College into the EIF’s roster of music venues was an inspired idea. Not only is the date of its foundation stone contemporaneous with Beethoven’s early days as a composer, but acoustically it allows his complete cycle of piano sonatas to be heard with impressive clarity over the course of nine concerts running until 26 Aug.
Viennese pianist Rudolf Buchbinder is a well-practised master at the art of performing all 32 of the sonatas in a concentrated series, having done so across the world. Also noted for the authenticity of his approach, Buchbinder is meticulous in his delivery. In Concert 2, nothing was overtly emotional, but veered more towards unfussy objectivity with the direction taken all about letting Beethoven’s genius speak for itself rather than imposing a new layer of sentiment.
Gripping the capacity audience in rapt, intimate attention, Buchbinder was particularly true to the composer in the G major Sonata, Op 79, with the even better known Op 27 No 2, ‘Moonlight’ being heard in a new, reflective light in his faultlessly assured interpretation of it, although it was only in its last movement that sparks began to fly.
Playfair Library Hall, 473 2000, until 26 Aug, 5pm, £25