This record was very kindly provided to me by a visitor to the blog, Ray Pratt. He mailed me the LP, even sending a second, clearer copy when he found one.
The performance is what finally made sense of this sonata for me. The difficulty I had "getting it", even through performances by brilliant pianists, including my beloved Rudolph Serkin, undoubtedly speaks to a lack in my musical insights and abilities, but I am grateful to finally be enlightened. Petri recorded the work earlier, and that recording was issued on a Columbia Special Products LP which I have long owned. While it went some way in lifting the veil of my incomprehension, I had to wait for this Westminster recording to finally find my way fully into the work.
My difficulty with the Hammerklavier has been embarrassing, a little bit like one's initial struggling to understand the subjunctive voice -- elusive and not really felt in one's bones. To finally hear the piece as a whole is deeply gratifying.
I replaced the original cover art photo included with this post with a much improved version that a friend of the blog, Jan Henrik Amberg, very kindly sent to me. Many thanks. The visitors here are so often so helpful; my occasional misanthropy is humbled Links to all files
I grew up listening to records -- shellac and vinyl -- and the sound of a needle tracking the grooves of an old LP is still deeply comforting to me -- a sound from childhood, like the fan of the hot air furnace coming on. However turntables are now relatively scarce, and we are becoming less tolerant of noise from the medium the music is stored on, so putting up renovated files of what I consider choice, but neglected performances, seemed a good way to spend some time. There are several thousand LPs in the house, a lot of them not re-issued on CD, some of them performances of real importance. If you like something, post a comment. I'd love to hear from you.
Everything posted here is in my personal collection on LPs or 78rpm records, and any restoration to the file is done by me. I do not post anything from CDs.