Llyr Williams at Wigmore Hall – Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycle (6) – The Opus 10 Sonatas and Diabelli Variations

Classical Source

By Colin Anderson

How jaunty and charming he made Diabelli's seminal tune ... how majestic was the first of Beethoven’s commentaries on it, then came even-handedness (literally), lyrical loveliness and impishness. One can add (at random), flamboyance, skittish, sublime, rhetorical (with answers), intimate and propulsive.

For all the character that Williams found in and brought to the music, there was a wonderful feeling of indivisibility to the whole, a through-line connection to the lava-flow of Beethoven’s imagination that was kick-started by something simple. Whether rapt (one such moment fractured by a ringing mobile), solemn or spiritual (the latter quality sustaining Variations XXX and XXXI to mesmeric effect) or – the flip side – jovial ditty and boogie-woogie, and the Don Giovanni quotation (Variation XXII) swaggered, this was as remarkably comprehensive an account as any I have heard, citing a recall with Alfred Brendel at his greatest, in the Royal Festival Hall many years ago. 

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