On lp the piano sound was recessed so that Haskil's excellent playing and interplay with Grumiaux could not register fully. As with their two discs of Mozart sonatas, the sound is now improved (from a C+ to a B) and is more enjoyable.
Grumiaux and Haskil were a great team, two prodigies who played each's other's instruments almost equally well. (Grumiaux later recorded the Mozart sonata k481 playing both parts.) Tempi in in the outer movements of the Beethoven
are usually brisk, and the playing is volatile and exciting in them. They do not rush the slow movements which contain much profound music, especially in ops 12/1,12/3, 24, 30/2, 47 and 96. Haskil reminds me of Argerich but can be a bit more sculpted-both recorded too few Mozart concerti, especially Argerich. I find Argerich's DG partner Gidon Kremer
adept interpretively but unpleasant tonally, while Grumiaux in excellent in both areas. Had Argerich recorded more
of the sonatas with Perlman than the Kreutzer their set would have been more formidable. Argerich is at least a full peer of Haskil in her EMI and DG Kreutzers, and Haskil in this cd set sounds more dynamic than she did on lp.
Peers: sets- Grumiaux/Arrau/Philips (6 sonatas only), Perlman/Ashkenazy/Decca, Perlman/Argerich/EMI (opus 47 only),
Szeryng/Haebler/Philips, Szeryng/Graffman Live (#s 1,3, and 9 only), Stern/Istomin/Sony (best are #s 1 and 7), Schneiderhan/Seemann/DG, Morini/Firkusny/MCA/(#s 3,5,7 and 8 only.