Monday, April 18, 2005

Richard Goode Makes Good with Mozart

Stereophile magazine has selected Richard Goode's first foray into Mozart's solo piano music. Robert Levine describes Goode's work in the Mozart:

"...such natural phrasing, nuance, spotless fingerwork, and songlike legato—not to mention modesty—that one can't imagine it played any other way. He neither trivializes nor gives the music too much heft. Aided by sound that is intimate, honest, and clean, this is a release to play over and over, and to revel in."

Read more here.

I look forward to this CD for a number of reasons. Levine describes Goode's playing as "honest" and says Goode "has a way of getting out of the way of the music—of never imposing his own personality on it—without ever being bland." On the contrary, it often strikes my ear (say for example in his traversal of the Beethoven sonatas) as admiral, sure-footed, but often enough workman-like. For these reason, Goode's Beethoven isn't quite good enough when compared with those of Kempf, Jando, or (pace purists) Schnabel (it is still one for the ages). Indeed, if one were looking to buy a complete set of the Beethoven sonatas Goode's would not be at the top of my recommended list (nor would it be at the bottom), but rather treading water somewhere around the middle. Hopefully, Levine is wrong and the Mozart discloses an a Goode who is an artist unafraid of making a work uniquely his own.

No comments: