EIF music review: Rudolf Buchbinder
EIF music review: Rudolf Buchbinder

Edinburgh International Festival music review: Rudolf Buchbinder, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Susan Nickalls. ★★★ Rudolf Buchbinder continued his survey of Beethoven’s piano sonatas with a selection of contrasting works written while the composer was in his late twenties and thirties. The Austrian pianist was more than up for the technical challenges the 26-year-old Beethoven weaves …

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Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh International Festival music review: Rudolf Buchbinder, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Susan Nickalls.

★★★

Rudolf Buchbinder continued his survey of Beethoven’s piano sonatas with a selection of contrasting works written while the composer was in his late twenties and thirties.

The Austrian pianist was more than up for the technical challenges the 26-year-old Beethoven weaves into his Sonata in C major Op 2 No 3, handling with aplomb the first movement with its tricky theme in thirds and the virtuosic finale. Beethoven’s trademark is surprise, especially when it comes to key changes and dynamics and Buchbinder could have varied his approach with more subtle shading and colouring of his phrases, particularly in the finale of Sonata in C minor Op 10 No.1.

It may be just ten minutes or so, but the Sonata in G major Op 79 is action-packed, particularly the opening presto and playful finale. Buchbinder’s lyrical interpretation of the Italian-influenced barcarolle beautifully evoked images of gondolas on canals.

Everyone knows the Moonlight Sonata in C sharp minor Op 27 No 2, which makes it difficult for pianists to make it their own. Although Buchbinder’s take was almost textbook there was just a bit too much rubato at the end and the slow movement felt laboured. The presto, however, was dazzling.

Playfair Library

Published in The Scotsman on 11 August 2015

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