Musicweb-International, United Kingdom

Musicweb-International, United Kingdom Review of Pianist Steven Masi

Brian Reinhart     September 06, 2013 

“Steven Masi’s new cycle of the Beethoven sonatas starts with a bold choice of four great works that are very different from one another… Best is the famous Pathétique, strong of spine and lyrical too, with some of Masi’s idiosyncrasies – take the rhythms of the introduction, or the clear accompaniment in the adagio’s central passages – perking up my ears. I’m pretty jaded about this piece, have heard it too many times, but Masi brought back my interest and curiosity and gave me greater pleasure than any performance has in years.

The disc ends with a joyous reading of Sonata No. 28 (Op. 101), Masi bringing Bach-like precision and grandeur to the counterpoint of the finale. Combined with the irresistible pull of the final minutes, this makes for a compelling reading.

The Pathétique is restorative; No. 28 is another major success. Not everything is to my liking… but Steven Masi’s playing is interesting enough that I look forward to being stimulated and challenged by future volumes.”