To start with kudos: this is the best single set of the famous three last Schubert sonatas. Perahia, a pianist whose early recordings (like the complete Mozart concertos done in the 70. Mozart - The Piano Concertos
) I adore, had some hard time lately due to a hand injury and though the overall playing is fabulous, there is a hint of uncertainty, some lack of flow where flow is essential and some deficiency of contrast when Schubert makes one of his famous abrupt mood swings. Check Mieczyslaw Horszowski for D 958 Horszowski - A Centenary Celebration
, a 1971 mono recording that, though technically imperfect, is much richer in wit, flow, dynamics and emotion. For D 959 there is still no match for Artur Schnabel's classic 1937 take Artur Schnabel - The Complete Schubert Recordings, 1932-50
. For the most famous D 960 there is no better than Sviatoslav Richter 1972 Prague live recording Schubert/Liszt - Piano Works
, a haunting, mystical rendering of the two first movements of the sonata, but Artur Rubinstein Artur Rubinstein Collection, Vol 54
is perfect too - in a different way. If you look for the epitome of balance, try the great Rubinstein. If you are in need of a laugh, try the 'Horowitz The Poet' CD - a monumental example of superficiality and cheap tricks like the everpresent ritardando. Back to Perahia: if you are affected by the credit crunch, go for it. But if you are a rich man, start browsing for your own compilation.