I hesitated before buying this CD, having too often found Boulez a little too cold and clinical in this music. Now that I have bought it, I can't praise it enough. True, it lacks some of the emotional warmth of (both of) Brendel's recordings and Kubelik, in the latter of the two, finds a Romantic richness to this dark work. But Uchida and Boulez take a different and equally effective approach that is, for me, ethereal. There's no lack of passion, but at the same time there is a translucent quality to their playing, piano and orchestra wholly in sympathy with each other.
That ethereal quality really comes through in the solo pieces by Schoenberg and Webern, and a revelatory account of the Kleine Klavierstucke, op. 19. The Webern Variations are superb and if I say I prefer Zimerman's reading (part of Boulez's complete works of Webern on DG) that is not to deter anyone from buying this disc.
I had at first a slight reservation about Uchida's performances of the Berg, again finding it just a little lacking in warmth - Berg was always the most Romantic of these three - but Uchida finds much in this relatively short, but utterly dense piece, and the more I listen to it the more convinced I am that she's 'got it right', or at least has something very real and very personal to say about this music.
So, overall, a five star performance and I have only one complaint: that she didn't record the Suite, op.25 , or the op. 23 pieces, as well.