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

  • Bizet – Roma Symphony

    There’s more to Bizet than “Carmen.” And while the works on this new collection aren’t likely to replace Bizet’s greatest hit, they do provide insight into the composer’s style and make for some enjoyable light listening. The disc starts with the Marche funébre in B minor. It’s not quite the downer you might think. Bizet’s […]

  • Bobby Rush Interview 3/19/2012

    The indestructible King of the Chitlin Circuit, Bobby Rush, is interviewed about one of his many recent releases and his past in Blues music. You can download the interview here or stream it live below:

  • New Blues News – 8/31/2015

    New Blues News – 9/1/2015 Andy T – Nick Nixon Band – Numbers Man (Blind Pig): Vocalist Nick Nixon and co-leader / guitarist Andy T Talamantez present a totally solid disc spanning from blues to zydeco to old R&B. There’s even a slick, slightly funky instrumental! Nixon is a strong declarative baritone singer and Andy […]

  • The Blue Eyed Bettys on Folk & Beyond, Sept 3

    The Blue Eyed Bettys will stop by the WTJU studios Thursday afternoon, September 3, around 4:30 (edt) for a visit to Folk & Beyond.  They will be putting on a concert the previous evening at The Barn at Lamppost Cottage.

  • Mipso on Lambeth Live, Sept 18

    In celebration of their latest CD, Old Time Reverie, Chapel Hill, North Carolina act Mipso will put on the September 18 edition of Lambeth Live, and you are invited!  Doors open at 7:30 pm, and the one hour FREE concert starts at 8 pm. For those unable to be there to be part of the studio […]

  • Tret Fure on Lambeth Live, Sept 11

    In celebration of her latest CD, Rembrandt Afternoons, singer/songwriter Tret Ture will put on the September 11 edition of Lambeth Live, and you are invited!  Doors open at 7:30 pm, and the one hour FREE concert starts at 8 pm. For those unable to be there to be part of the studio audience, you can of […]