Fazıl Say gave an all Beethoven recital at the TCE, with Sonatas spanning over 2 decades and a half.
He opened with the famous No. 8 “Pathétique” from 1798. Say is a pianist and a composer, which gives a very interesting view of Beethoven’s work.
As a matter of fact, I had the same impression the 1st time I heard Say play the German master – and it was the same with Russian pianist Andrei Korobeinikov who is also a composer.
The second Sonata was No.26 “Les adieux” from 1810, which was also enjoyable.
Say had chosen Sonata No. 31 and I was curious to hear him play one of the late Sonatas. His performance was at par with the other 2 works, with proper insight in all 3 movements (“Moderato cantabile molto espressivo”, “Allegro molto”, “Adagio ma non troppo – Allegro ma non troppo”), the latter as well in the “arioso” sections as the 2 fugues.
After such a masterpiece, Say moved to Chopin for 2 encores, playing Nocturnes No. 20 and No. 2, which were as good as the Beethoven Sonatas, and gave a 3rd encore, “Black Earth”, one of his compositions, which uses different playing techniques (including muffling the piano strings with one hand).