Lamond was a student of Liszt, one of his last. He did not achieve the career success of some of the others and some of the playing on this disc gives us a sense as to possibly why. He was a true individualist. He attempts to relate on a very personal and detailed level with so many small things in the score. Those who are unaccustomed to early twentieth century styles (and even some who are..) could be left quite confused by his approach.
And yet, we know that Liszt took him very seriously indeed and went so far as to promote him. We also know that he was greatly respected by Brahms, Von Bulow, Tchaikovsky, Strauss and many other great musicians. He was also an accomplished composer. And his Beethoven playing was considered by many in Europe to be particularly fine. So, we are forced to conclude that what we have here is a very special window into a style of playing, an approach to expression that has been lost to time. And as such, it is a profoundly important and revealing document.
More specifically what you hear in these recordings is a very flexible approach to local tempo fluctuations (rubato) and many other old school approaches to performance (like breaking of the hands, etc.). It is fascinating and wonderful, but also bewildering and strange. And any truly open minded and curious musician would want to hear this.
The cleaing up of the sound is pretty good, but this is a historic recording, so be prepared for that. Also, this may be the only commercial release of Lamond playing Beethoven sonatas, so get it while you can. Other recordings of other repertoire (including Liszt) is available on Pearl and others. His recordings of the Chopin Nocturne in A-flat Op.32 and Brahms Capriccio Op.76 are also well worth hearing and studying. Other pianists who represent a similar style to varying degrees are Adelina de Lara (Clara Schumann pupil), and Ignaz Paderewski, among many other early artists on record.
1. Pno Son No.17 in d 'Tempest': I Largo-Allegro
2. Pno Son No.17 in d 'Tempest': II Adagio
3. Pno Son No.17 in d 'Tempest': III Allegretto
4. Pno Son No.21 in C 'Waldstein': I Allegro Con Brio
5. Pno Son No.21 in C 'Waldstein': II Intro: Adagio Molto
6. Pno Son No.21 in C 'Waldstein': III Rondo: Allegretto Moderato-Prestissimo
7. Pno Son No.23 in f 'Appassionata': I Allegro Assai
8. Pno Son No.23 in f 'Appassionata': II Andante Con Moto
9. Pno Son No.23 in f 'Appassionata': III Allegro Ma Non Troppo
10. Pno Son No.31 in A-flat, Op.110: I Molto Cantabile Molto Espressivo
11. Pno Son No.31 in A-flat, Op.110: II Allegro Molto
12. Pno Son No.31 in A-flat, Op.110: III Adagio Ma Non Troppo-Recitativo-Arioso Dolente
13. Pno Son No.31 in A-flat, Op.110: Fuga: Allegro Ma Non Troppo