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Penguin Guide, January 2009

BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1–3 (Schnabel) (1933–1934) 8.110693
BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonatas Nos. 4–6 and 19–20 (Schnabel) (1932–1935) 8.110694
BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonatas Nos. 7–10 (Schnabel) (1932–1935) 8.110695
BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonatas Nos. 11–13 (Schnabel) (1932–1934) 8.110756
BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonatas Nos. 14–16 (Schnabel) (1933–1937) 8.110759
BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonatas Nos. 17, 18 and 21 (Schnabel) (1932, 1934) 8.110760

Schnabel brought to this great repertoire a rare depth and vision…the concentration, wisdom and insights (particularly of the late sonatas) remain in a class of their own. There is no question as to the superiority of Mark Obert-Thorn’s transfers [in comparison with the previous EMI issues:] they are more present and vivid, and have much greater body. They also have the advantage of being available singly, so that those who want the greatest performances, such as the Waldstein, and the Opp. 110 and 111, can get them without having necessarily to bother with the earlier ones or the very approximate Hammerklavier…the best are beyond price and they have never sounded better. They come closer to Beethoven than has almost any other musician since, and in these excellent transfers remain an indispensable part of any self-respecting collection.





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