Young Russian Pianist Tackles Beethoven’s Toughest Sonatas First

It is the rare person who starts at the top.  If you’re going to play in major league baseball, you will most likely spend a few seasons in the minors honing your skills.  Tennis?  It may take a while to build up to Roger Federer, (a self-professed lover of Beethoven), or Serena Williams.  Piano?  Well, if you’re planning to tackle something as daunting as the Beethoven Piano Sonatas, it would seem logical to start at the beginning and work your way toward his later sonatas.

When 26-year-old Russian pianist Igor Levit signed a contract with Sony Classical, he quickly decided to begin at the what for others is the finish line…Beethoven’s final five sonatas.

Levit’s debut recording was released just this month and is already receiving glowing reviews.  Chances are that, after “living with them” for a while, he’ll return to these sonatas later in his career and re-record them, just as Yo Yo Ma did with the Bach Cello Suites.

If this is where Igor Levit begins, I am eager to see where his musical journey takes him.

Read Beethoven Piano Sonatas: Opp 101, 106, 109, 110, and 111 – Review (The Guardian)

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