RICHARD GOODE GAINED AS MUCH ACCLAIM AND ATTENTION as a classical-music artist is likely to get with his recordings of the complete piano sonatas by Beethoven, a formidable journey that he traversed with uncommon brio.
|Richard Goode | Photo by Steve Riskind|
Too fast? Not to my taste. There’s a “To be or not to be” quality to the opening of that sonata: It’s so famous that you’re tempted simply to get it over with. But I didn’t hear that in Goode’s approach, which pulsed with appropriate wistfulness, avoiding the too-easy route of shrouding the movement with melancholy.
This approach made more meaningful the little scherzo that follows, a lighthearted interlude that sets you up for a big, Beethoven surprise: the tumultuous finale, bursting forth with the fury of a tantrum and finishing so fortississimo that the Steinway’s strings seemed to be banging into one another.