Instead of streaming from an empty concert hall, the program was recorded in Williams’s own home. The cozy environment (one expects a tray of Welsh breakfast tea and scones to appear any moment) provided a refreshing new experience of one of Beethoven’s towering achievements. Eight videos of the complete cycle appeared on YouTube during June 2020; however, were dropped at the end of the month. There may be a still photo or two from the recordings hanging around YouTube if you search diligently.
The good news is that Wiilliams’s cycle is available, audio only, in a recording made a couple of years back at Wigmore Hall. Search for “Beethoven Unbound” 12-CD set or mp3 at amazon.com or other music distributors.
Mastering “The 32” is the aim of many of the classical world’s finest pianists, but Williams does more than that: he liberates them. With clarion-bright tones, a sure touch–powerful but never jolting–and a memory for every staccato dot and pedal release (impressive to a non-pianist like myself, but de rigueur for serious musicians ), the artist presents a Beethoven of intelligence, wit, and a universe of feelings: eager, bold, and mystical.
Photo copyright Nikolay Nersesov