Home » Classical Downloads » Series » Historic Russian Archives » Lazar Berman Edition (7 CD box set, APE)

Lazar Berman Edition (7 CD box set, APE)

Lazar Berman Edition (7 CD box set, APE)

Lazar Berman Edition (7 CD box set, APE)

Performer: Lazar Berman
Composer: Franz Liszt, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Manuel de Falla, Alexander Scriabin, Murad Kazhlaev, Sergey Prokofiev, Ludwig van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky, Domenico Scarlatti, Muzio Clementi, Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, George Frederick Handel, Franz Schubert
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 7 CD box set
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Brilliant Classics
Size: 1.41 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Disc: 1
01. Aprés une lecture du Dante II, fantasia quasi sonata, for piano (Années II/7) S. 161/7 (LW 159/7)
02. Mephisto Waltz (I & II), for piano No. 1 (Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke), S. 514 (LW A189)
03. Études d’exécution transcendante (12 Transcendental Etudes), for piano, S. 139 (LW A172): Prelude
04. Études d’exécution transcendante (12 Transcendental Etudes), for piano, S. 139 (LW A172): Paysage
05. Études d’exécution transcendante (12 Transcendental Etudes), for piano, S. 139 (LW A172): Feux follets
06. Études d’exécution transcendante (12 Transcendental Etudes), for piano, S. 139 (LW A172): Vision
07. Études d’exécution transcendante (12 Transcendental Etudes), for piano, S. 139 (LW A172): Appassionata in F minor
08. Études d’exécution transcendante (12 Transcendental Etudes), for piano, S. 139 (LW A172): Harmonies du soir
09. Études d’exécution transcendante (12 Transcendental Etudes), for piano, S. 139 (LW A172): Chasse neige
10. Rhapsodie espagnole (Folies d’Espagne et jota aragonesa), for piano, S. 254 (LW A195)

Disc: 2
01. Années de pèlerinage, 1st Year (‘Suisse’), suite for piano, S. 160 (LW A159): Chappelle de Guillaume Tell
02. Années de pèlerinage, 1st Year (‘Suisse’), suite for piano, S. 160 (LW A159): Au lac de Wallenstadt
03. Années de pèlerinage, 1st Year (‘Suisse’), suite for piano, S. 160 (LW A159): Vallée d’Obermann
04. Années de pèlerinage, 1st Year (‘Suisse’), suite for piano, S. 160 (LW A159): Le Mal du Pays
05. Années de pèlerinage, 1st Year (‘Suisse’), suite for piano, S. 160 (LW A159): Les Cloches de Geneve
06. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S. 124 (LW H4): Allegro maestoso
07. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S. 124 (LW H4): Quasi adagio-allegretto vivace-allegro animato
08. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S. 124 (LW H4): Allegro marziale animato

Disc: 3
01. Piano Sonata in B minor, S. 178 (LW A179)
02. Gaspard de la nuit, for piano: Ondine
03. Pour les huit doigts, etude for piano, L. 136/6
04. Ritual Fire Dance, for orchestra (from ‘El Amor brujo’)
05. Piano Sonata No. 4 in F sharp major, Op. 30: Andante
06. Piano Sonata No. 4 in F sharp major, Op. 30: Prestissimo volando
07. Fantaisie for piano in B minor, Op. 28
08. Etude for piano in B flat minor, Op. 8/11
09. 3 Preludes, for piano: No. 1
10. 3 Preludes, for piano: No. 2
11. 3 Preludes, for piano: No. 3

Disc: 4
01. Toccata for piano in D minor, Op. 11
02. Romeo and Juliet, pieces (10) for piano, Op. 75: Morning Dance (the street awakens)
03. Romeo and Juliet, pieces (10) for piano, Op. 75: The arrival of the guests (Menuetto)
04. Romeo and Juliet, pieces (10) for piano, Op. 75: Mercutio
05. Romeo and Juliet, pieces (10) for piano, Op. 75: Montecchi e Capuletti (Dance of the knights)
06. Romeo and Juliet, pieces (10) for piano, Op. 75: Romeo and Juliet before parting
07. Piano Sonata No. 8 in B flat major (‘War Sonata 3’), Op. 84: Andante moderato
08. Piano Sonata No. 8 in B flat major (‘War Sonata 3’), Op. 84: Andante sognando
09. Piano Sonata No. 8 in B flat major (‘War Sonata 3’), Op. 84: Vivace
10. Sonata for violin & piano No. 2 in D major, Op. 94 bis: Moderato
11. Sonata for violin & piano No. 2 in D major, Op. 94 bis: Scherzo
12. Sonata for violin & piano No. 2 in D major, Op. 94 bis: Andante
13. Sonata for violin & piano No. 2 in D major, Op. 94 bis: Allegro con brio

Disc: 5
01. Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor (‘Moonlight’), Op. 27/2: Adagio
02. Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor (‘Moonlight’), Op. 27/2: Allegretto
03. Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor (‘Moonlight’), Op. 27/2: Presto agitato
04. Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor (‘Appassionata’), Op. 57: Allegro assai
05. Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor (‘Appassionata’), Op. 57: Andante con moto
06. Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor (‘Appassionata’), Op. 57: Allegro ma non troppo
07. Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58, CT. 203
08. Etude for piano No. 2 in A minor, Op. 10/2, CT. 15
09. Etude for piano No. 10 in A flat major, Op. 10/10, CT. 23
10. Etude for piano No. 16 in A minor, Op. 25/4, CT. 29
11. Etude for piano No. 20 in D flat major, Op. 25/8, CT. 33
12. Etude for piano No. 22 in B minor, Op. 25/10, CT. 35
13. Etude for piano No. 23 in A minor, Op. 25/11, CT. 36
14. Symphony No. 6 in B minor (‘Pathétique’), Op. 74: Scherzo

Disc: 6
01. Sonata for keyboard in D minor, K. 9 (L. 413), ‘Pastorale’
02. Piano Sonata in B minor, Op. 40/2: Molto adagio e sostenuto – allegro con fuoco
03. Piano Sonata in B minor, Op. 40/2: Largo, mesto e patetico – allegro
04. Keyboard Sonata in G major, H. 16/27: Allegro con brio
05. Keyboard Sonata in G major, H. 16/27: Menuetto
06. Keyboard Sonata in G major, H. 16/27: Finale, presto
07. Rondo for piano No. 3 in A minor, K. 511
08. Sonetto del Petrarca No. 47 (Benedetto sia’l giorno; I), for piano (Tre sonetti No. 2), S. 158/2
09. Nuages gris (Trübe Wolken), for piano, S. 199 (LW A305)
10. Te Deum (Dettingen) for soloists, chorus & orchestra in D major, HWV 283: Aria

Disc: 7
01. Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D. 960: Molto moderato
02. Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D. 960: Andante sostenuto
03. Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D. 960: Scherzo, allegro vivace con delicatezza
04. Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D. 960: Allegro ma non troppo
05. Der Leiermann (‘Drüben hinterm Dorfe…’), song for voice & piano (Winterreise), D. 911/24 (Op. 89/24)
06. Die Täuschung (‘Im Erlenbusch’), song for voice & piano, D. 230 (Op. posth. 165/4)
07. Gretchen am Spinnrade (‘Meine Ruh’…’), song for voice & piano, D. 118 (Op. 2)
08. Die junge Nonne (‘Wie braust durch die Wipfel’), song for voice & piano, D. 828 (Op. 43/1)
09. Ellens Gesang III (‘Ave Maria’), song for voice & piano, D. 839 (Op. 52/6)
10. Erlkönig (‘Wer reitet so spät’), song for voice & piano, D. 328 (Op. 1)

Berman: Underrated Giant

Lazar Berman is perhaps the most underrated of the giants of the 20th century. He was at once held in awe for his staggering technique and castigated for letting his “fingers outrun his brains,” to borrow Horowitz’s description of Simon Barere. Few seem to care for his Beethoven, for his is a perfectly un-Brendelian, un-Serkinian, un-Pollinian, and un-Kempfian approach. He puts what I like to call the “Berman mojo” on it, and the results are fascinating. Nonintellectual? Maybe, according to the German tradition. But why do so many think that is the only way to do it, anyway? The usual answer, “Because we should serve the composer’s wishes,” begs the question. Was Beethoven a god or a man like the rest of us? I say let Berman have his say: at the very least, there is something there to disagree with, as opposed to the various attempts simply to play what is written on the page without interpreting it, as if that is not already an interpretive choice.

Then, of course there is his Liszt, for which he is justly respected. Who has ever heard the F minor Transcendental Etude performed so intensely as in this recording from the mid 50s (even before the famous complete set on the Melodyia label)? It is like a well controlled strike of lightning. (Unfortunately, the recording omits two bars in the lead-up to the recapitulation. It sounds like a tape editing error. Possibly a memory slip? Berman makes his point well enough anyway.) The Dante Sonata, the Spanish Rhapsody, and various others, are hair raising. The 1956 recording of the B minor Sonata is a revelation. Very few pianists hold that piece together structurally as well as Berman, and none can match his technique in it. Not even Horowitz played the octaves in the final transformation of the main subject like Berman.

Also of great interest, particularly to pianists, will be Berman’s Chopin etudes, since he was not well known as a Chopin player. In the Octave Etude, he again gives the Berman mojo, especially in the slower middle section, simply and beautifully played, contrasted perfectly with the earth-shattering violence of the outer sections. In many ways, his Winter Wind etude is reminiscent of the old Josef Lhevinne recording, which, to my mind, is a good thing. It is fast and furious but never out of control. But perhaps the two that will be most interesting to other pianists are the opus 10 no. 2 in a minor, and the opus 25 no. 6 in d-flat major. I have never heard the former, with the chromatic scales played with the weaker fingers of the right hand, played so fleetly, even by Ashkenazy. And the latter, all double sixths, is light and perfectly phrased, yet over in less than a minute. Having played that piece for years, I could only smile and accept it.

Not all of the performances show Berman at his best. The Prokofiev 8th Sonata, taken from a live concert in the early 1980s, is rather on the slow side. (Compare it to his studio recording with Deutche Gramophon, or, indeed, to Richter’s performances.) But it is still of interest, as are the Romeo and Juliet pieces and the violin sonata recorded with his son, Pavel. None are definitive, but all are worth your time.

There is more to the set, and all of it is wonderful. The overall impression is of a pianistic and musical giant. Most who payed attention to music in the 20th century already knew of Berman’s pianism. I suggest you listen again, and try to follow Berman’s thinking. There is much there worthy to be understood.

1 thought on “Lazar Berman Edition (7 CD box set, APE)”

Leave a Reply