All Music Guide

One recording, Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata, Op. 27/2? Check. One recording, Beethoven’s “Pathétique” Sonata, Op. 13? Check. One recording, Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Sonata, Op. 57? Check. Wait. What the heck is this? One recording, Beethoven’s “Fidelio” Overture, Op. 72, arranged for piano by Ignaz Moscheles? One recording, Beethoven’s 7 Variations on “God Save the King,” WoO 78? And what the dickens is this: one recording, Grave — Allegro di molto e con brio — Tempo primo, marked “As track 5 but with ‘conventional’ repeat”? Surely, this is not your conventional Beethoven recital disc! Surely, it is not. According to the cover, the Steinway model D upon which the recital was performed is located at the Wisbech Grammar School in Cambridgeshire, one of the best piano models made housed in one of the oldest schools in England. According to the notes, Liverpool Anthony Goldstone, a “sixth-generation pupil of Beethoven,” has been praised by Vienna’s Die Presse as a pianist of “astonishingly profound spiritual penetration.” Die Presse appears to be correct in their judgment: Goldstone is not only a tremendous virtuoso, he is an amazingly insightful and astoundingly soulful player. Goldstone can storm the heavens in finales, but he can also see to the heart of Beethoven’s music and express it in rapturous tones. The inclusion of Moscheles’ transcription and Beethoven’s Variations is wonderfully generous, but the appendix of the “conventional” repeat for the opening movement of the Pathétique Sonata is perhaps too didactic. Divine Art’s recording on location in the music wing of the Wisbech School is full, round, and deep.

—James Leonard