EIF music review: Rudolf Buchbinder: Beethoven 6
EIF music review: Rudolf Buchbinder: Beethoven 6

Edinburgh International Festival review: Rudolf Buchbinder: Beethoven 6, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Ken Walton. ★★★★ It’s been a week since I caught up with Rudolf Buchbinder’s Beethoven piano sonata series, and something of a transformation has taken place, if not in every remaining concert, certainly in Monday’s. What was previously introvert and frankly boring was …

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Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh International Festival review: Rudolf Buchbinder: Beethoven 6, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Ken Walton.

★★★★

It’s been a week since I caught up with Rudolf Buchbinder’s Beethoven piano sonata series, and something of a transformation has taken place, if not in every remaining concert, certainly in Monday’s.

What was previously introvert and frankly boring was now communicative and meaningful. In the Haydnesque transparency of the G major Sonata, Op14 No2, the Austrian pianist found the power of projection the earlier recitals lacked. There was wit, there was shape, and, at last, a ringing depth to the melodic lines.

The beautiful A flat Sonata, Op26, with its Eroica-like Marcia funebre and lyrical opening variations, continued that theme; and the E flat sonata, Op27 No1, its uninterrupted flow of movements unfolding like a vivid dramatic scena, prepared the way for Buchbinder’s intense vision of the Pathétique.

It was here he convinced us he can be up to the Beethoven challenge. The first movement contrast between the famous rhetorical opening, affirmative and timeless, and the impatient thrust of the allegro was compelling. The slow movement theme sang soulfully, and the final rondo had a conclusive conviction.

Yes, there are still technical slips, and somewhat eccentric tampering with textures. But finally, this was a money’s worth gig.

Playfair Library

Published in The Scotsman on 19 August 2015

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