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Myron Silberstein
Fanfare, July 2017

There is a lot to enjoy in this recording. The playing is always musical. Lines are always well shaped, Jumppanen always exhibits sensitivity to harmonic color, and his crescendos and decrescendos and fluctuations of tempo are always well paced. He brings a notably expansive, tragic grandeur to the initial measures of op. 110’s final movement, with a great deal of rhythmic freedom made possible by his richly voiced chords and carefully gradated dynamic fluctuations. Likewise, in the Minore section of op. 7’s third movement, Jumppanen makes the bold choice of playing the rapid arpeggios evenly from bottom to top, creating a shimmering wall of harmonic color rather than the more familiar nearly static melody.

Jumppanen is clearly a thoughtful musician. …When he plays something a second time, it means something different. Particularly in op. 7’s fourth movement, repetition offers him an opportunity to ornament in creative, charming, unexpected ways.

Clearly, I am giving this recording a recommendation… © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Bruno Repp
American Record Guide, May 2017

…Jumppanen may well be one of the finest Beethoven interpreters alive.

All these performances are full of character and deeply felt. Jumppanen has a strong touch and can produce some powerful sounds. Yet he also commands a wide range of dynamics that he employs with telling effect. His management of timing is masterly, especially in slow movements, as in Sonata 4 (Op. 7), where he is very free with tempo, rests, and note values, but never in an arbitrary way. He truly lives the music, and all pianistic and musicological considerations are subordinated to his expressive goals. He has been recorded in excellent, almost lush sound. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Michael Tanner
BBC Music Magazine, May 2017


As it turned out, Jumppanen, though by no means one of the finest performers of these searching works, nonetheless approaches them with refreshing straightforwardness, where they so often wilt under a pianist’s determination to reveal their secrets. Jumppanen’s accounts might well serve as a good way in for anyone who feels overawed by their reputation, which is justified but intimidating. © 2017 BBC Music Magazine

Jed Distler
Gramophone, January 2017

…a superbly engineered and annotated conclusion to a Beethoven cycle characterised by occasional drawbacks and numerous strengths. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2016

Paavali Jumppanen’s cycle of Beethoven’s piano sonatas continues with readings that avoid intellectual rigour, yet never come between the composer and listener. The present release spans twenty-five years of Beethoven’s life, and plots out the evolution of this genre, and requires a soloist who—as with Jumppanen—can exploit those changes. His account of opus 7 opens in the rectitude that continues where Mozart left off, then digs deep into solemnity for the slow movement where his phrasing employs a rhythmic freedom to add intensity. A capricious view of the following Allegro leads to a Rondo where dexterous fingers are the main ingredient. The following ‘Pathetique’ sonata plunges Beethoven into the depths of sorrow, a mood Jumppanen moves away from as quickly as possible, his evenness of note values in fast running passages quite noteworthy, through he is very circumspect in employing an unhurried tempo for the finale. We move to the other end of Beethoven’s life for the second disc, and here Jumppanen’s search for something new to say is largely restrained. Indeed his opus 109 is at times rather plain, the many tempo changes used as little more than abrupt punctuation marks. That becomes even more pronounced in opus 111, where the turbulent passages sound as if fingers are loosing control, obviously an added effect rather than a technical shortcoming. Certainly it rekindles our thoughts as to the state of the composer’s mind when writing his valedictory score, Jumppanen’s closing pages resigned and full of sadness. In summary, I have reservations as I traversed the two discs, but this fresh slant has awakened a new interest in familiar scores. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

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