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Arts and Entertainment

Classical Pick of the Week: Beethoven by the Best!

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Efforts by mainstream media and Hollywood to use a Saint Bernard to replace Beethoven in our hearts and minds have failed, despite numerous attempts. As part of the Colburn Celebrity Series, Andras Schiff is halfway complete on his journey to perform all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas. 16 were performed last year in four concerts and he starts again this Wednesday for our classical pick of the week. This week includes some of Beethoven's greatest works, including the "Tempest" and the "Waldstein." These works are often performed, but rarely done well (recommended performances include Alfred Brendel, if you can overlook a mistake here and there). Andras Schiff is considered one of the consummate performers of Beethoven and Mozart. You will be hard pressed to find anyone with the same level of musicality and technical precision for these sonatas. Having attended several of his previous performances (and performances of just about every pianist the last few years), LAist has noticed that he gets some of the loudest and most enthusiastic responses from the crowd with his flawless performances. If you happen to be in New York, he has been performing the same cycle at Carnegie Hall. There are many tickets left for this show between 40 and 100 dollars. If you buy his CD (at the gift store there), he usually does a CD signing right after the show.

For fans of Robert Wilson and Puccini, the LA Opera has been staging performances of Madame Butterfly, closing this week on the 18th. You can find more information here. Since most 20th century has been neglected as of late, here is a Messiaen goodie found on youtube featuring frequent collaborators Pierre Boulez and Pierre-Laurent Amard on the piano. As most of you know, many venues have been celebrating his 100th year with performances of his best known works.

Andras Schiff plays Beethoven
Wednesday, October 15th, 2008, 8 PM
Walt Disney Concert Hall

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Photo by AP