VOICES Notes and news on Classical releases
24 AUG 07 VIVIEN SCHWEITZER
Perhaps the Irish pianist John O'Conor should be flattered that his recording of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 30 op. 109 was one of the many releases that the husband of the pianist Joyce Hatto (who died in June 2006) tried to pass off as her own. Earlier this year, a Gramophone magazine critic discovered the now notorious scandal of musical plagiarism. O'Conor, a renowned Beethoven interpreter, has released another stellar disc on Telarc, a recording of the composer's Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major and the Piano Concerto No. 5, the magnificent "Emperor" with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andreas Delfs.
Since winning 1st Prize at the Beethoven International Piano Competition in Vienna in 1973 and studying the composer's works with the legendary German pianist Wilhelm Kempff, O'Conor has further sharpened his impeccable Beethoven credentials by frequently recording and performing his sonatas and concertos. O'Conor's playing is marvelous throughout this recording. In the second movement of the Piano Concerto No. 2 his playing is richly insightful and he renders the Rondo incisive, playful and sparkling. In the "Emperor" O'Conor incisively conveys the work's magisterial elegance and drama. His warmly glowing and singing tone, elegant phrasing and crisp technique is bolstered by the top notch, impassioned playing of the London Symphony Orchestra.