The Deceptively Easy Mastery of Gilbert Kalish

In this recording of Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert, Gilbert Kalish presents an appealing program of works he knows well. The opening and closing works are the final piano sonatas of their respective composers — Haydn and Schubert, with a selection of short works by Beethoven in the middle.

Haydn’s Sonata No. 62 in E-flat (Hob.XVI:52)  was composed for a gifted performer, and is one of Haydn’s more complex piano works. Nonetheless, Kalish keeps things light and elegant. His well-rounded phrasing and subtle emphasis captures Haydn’s reserved elegance perfectly.

Kalish also plays Franz Schubert’s Piano Sonata No. 21 in B-flat, D. 960 in a slightly reserved fashion — but it works. Rather than overwhelming the listener with emotion, Kalish’s performance reveals the beautiful construction of the work. One hears the intricate patterns and lines of the sonata, rather than a furious rush of notes.

The Bagatelles, Op. 119 of Beethoven balance nicely with the two sonatas. These are short, relatively simple works (by Beethoven standards). Each bagatelle is lovingly performed by Kalish, turned into miniature gems by his musicianship.

Kalish plays with the fluid assurance that comes from a lifetime of music-making. He isn’t trying to prove anything, or even assert his personality. He just plays, and it sounds like he’s enjoying every moment. As did I.

Franz Joseph Handy: Sonata No. 62 in E-flat, Hob.XVI;52; Ludwig van Beethoven: Bagatelles, Op. 119; Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No. 21 in B-flat, D.960
Gilbert Kalish, piano
Bridge Records

More Recent Posts

  • April 4 Gather ‘Round: John Renbourn (2000)

    Gather ‘Round each Saturday night from 8-9 for WTJU Folk‘s concert series; both archived and live. There will be shows from The Prism Coffeehouse and VA Folklife archives mixed in with some from our announcers’ own libraries. And you never know when a live concert might pop up! This week’s program comes from a 2000 […]

  • Gallery: Paintings by Steve Keene

    Earlier this year, we asked WTJU alum and Brooklyn-based artist Steve Keene to design a Rock Marathon t-shirt for us. He benevolently donated his talents and sent us a whole stack of paintings to choose from. We selected a few of our favorites and present them here. Some of Keene’s better known album covers include […]

  • March 28 Gather ‘Round: Tony Trischka (2012)

    Gather ‘Round each Saturday night from 8-9 for WTJU Folk‘s concert series; both archived and live. There will be shows from The Prism Coffeehouse and VA Folklife archives mixed in with some from our announcers’ own libraries. And you never know when a live concert might pop up! This week’s program comes from a 2012 […]

  • Charles Villiers Stanford Piano Trio 2, Piano Quartet 1

    To my ears, Stanford’s music has always sounded like Brahms with an Irish accent. That’s not a bad thing. Like Brahms, Stanford constructed his music within accepted classical frameworks. But within those frameworks he crafts his motifs and harmonies with a great deal of imagination. Which is what makes this new Naxos release a pleasure […]

  • WTJU’s 2015 Rock Marathon is Right Around the Corner!

    In just under two weeks, we’ll celebrate  7 days of exceptional rock music! From April 6th to the 12th,  DJs from all backgrounds will come together to support the station and explore the wild and wide genre known as Rock. From shows dedicated to the legacy of artists like Prince (“Touch of Purple” Monday from 8-11pm) and […]

  • New Blues & Soul News – 3/24/2015

    New Blues News – 3/24/2015 New Blues Adds: Robben Ford – Into The Sun (Provogue): Veteran guitarist Ford presents his latest offering of blues inflected songs, several with a country soul/blues funk that is as infectious as can be.  Ford’s smooth and inventive guitar work is supported by Brian Allen (b), Wes Little (d), and […]