This was the first recoding I had of this masterwork by Bela Bartók, quite unique in its genre and one of his most personal compositions.
A long time I thought this was a very, very fine performing of the Sonata. Now, after listening some other versions (Lebeque, Argerich...), but, overall, Kontarsky's one, I really think it's a good recording but not between the best available.
Bartók's use of the piano was very close to percussion, quite the strongest part of the sonata, even harder than the percussionists in some parts of the score. This is very typical from the time of Bartók's First Piano Concert, that has a second movement quite in the same style of this Sonata. Kontarsky brothers, like Pollini or Zimerman (both in them recordings of the First Concert for DG) has shown how to play a much more strong, powerful and bartokian piano on them performing.
Solti knows Bartók's language very well, but much more better as conductor than as a pianist, and Perahia is clearly out of repertoire and style.
Even so, it's a quite good recording, but not the best, in my opinion. Deutsche Grammophon should think about releasing one more time Kontarky's version, the best ever recorded.
Good DDD sound and poor booklet.