It is always a joy to witness Beethoven relaxing. These collections of shorter piano pieces may offer no great music, but they have a freshness and vitality that is an endless delight. Jenő Jandó is at his finest in the two C minor Allegrettos and the C major Rondo. He opens the second disc with an appropriately impulsive and enjoyable account of the Op. 77 Fantasia. Elsewhere his clear, direct manner certainly evokes the spirit of Beethoven. The set of six Ecossaises (in essence, contredanses, and little to do with Scotland) are rhythmically very jolly and emerge as an exhilarating offering. The two Preludes, Op. 39, modulating through all the major keys in turn, have their fascination too. With playing fresh and clear, this is for the most part a delightful supplement to Jandó’s cycle of Beethoven sonatas for Naxos.
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