top of page

Beethoven's Sonata n. 32 op. 111 Cobo versus Neal O'Doan and Arthur Schnabel






Arthur Schnabel rendition:



Beethoven was deaf when he composed this sonata, hence he needed more intensity in the sound. This version of Schnabel, still being legendarily Beethoven's "reconstructor", in my modest opinion is lacking in resources, both in terms of sound power and technique (including in phrasing), leaving many unresolved passages and going through them with great effort -passing the rope around the neck-, dirty notes, failures in the balance of rhythmic values, trills and imperfect biting, it is true that he seeks the tremendous virtuosity that the sonata requires but cannot achieve it, because in the moments that it needs great manifestation of technical power, it barely manages - if at all - to outline them. At the same time Beethoven was nicknamed "the Spaniard" due to his great temperament that even broke the delicate fortepianos at that time.



Neal O'Doan rendition:


Nice, but that's not Beethoven. The tempos in Beethoven are much faster. This is art. For this reason, although Arietta says: Adagio molto semplice e cantabile does not mean that the listener hears a depressive phase of the composer who seems to have come from a drunken hangover. The intentions in Beethoven are much more exaggerated, the contrasts more light-dark, and Neal O'Doan turns it initially into a kind of watercolor, instead of oil painting, and when the part of greater character and personality arrives , it hardly puts an emotional charge, the rhythm being little clarified and sometimes confusing. In the most virtuosic parts he leaves evidence that he is a pianist who cannot be considered within the range of a great pianist because he does not reach enough technique, which overflows him in very numerous notes, bars and fragments. In general, this version is an attempt, plausible for it, but he does not reach the level of a simple Conservatory professor.

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page