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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best overall recorded complete cycle for sound and consistently good performances, 27 April 2013
This review is from: Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas (Audio CD)
Of course one would not be without one's favourites in individual sonatas.
For me Kempff in the Op 10 1-3 and some of the other early and middle sonatas; Michelangeli in ALL the handful he publicly played: Op7 No 4, Nos 11 and 12 marking the transition from "classical" to "romantic", and the last Op111 No 32 (I heard him play it at the Barbican which must have been his last London concert); Charles Rosen, (believe me this pianist/scholar has a grip on the structural relationships within these last sonatas like no other and retains a sense of mystery which looks forward to Prokofiev) in the other late sonatas, especially Op 109 which bites deep into my heart - and so on...

However, Pommier's technique is rock solid (he is a fantastic pianist in Bach) and his performances well thought out regarding structure and style. There is little flashiness. But you can virtually hear every note. The first volumes and the last sonatas are to my ears offering some of the best recorded piano sound ever. You can hear the soundboard within the piano projecting the struck notes...not just an approximation of the sound by close miking. There is some description within the liner notes of the recording venue which help to explain this excellence.

The recorded sound is the best I have heard, as I described above, and beats the Telarc cycle with O'Connor hands down both sonically and in performance.

I can't add anything further to the other reviews except to confirm, if you are looking for a complete cycle then this unreservedly is the best one to go for especially if you require excellent sound. Furthermore Pommier lives and breathes these works in frequent concert recitals, so, who knows, a la Kempff, we may yet obtain an even more seasoned set of interpretations from him in future years. Here's hoping!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jean-Bernard Pommier's 1990s Erato Beethoven cycle repackaged, 20 Sep 2012
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Mr. Mark A. Meldon (Somerset UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas (Audio CD)
Here we have yet another of those attractively priced Warner Classics box sets; these are often available at very low cost and this one is most certainly worth hearing (and more than once). The CDs come in the usual cardboard sleeves in a card capbox and the booklet contains, as far as I can ascertain, the original and interesting notes. Throughout, the piano sounds very realistic, so there are no worries at all on sonic grounds. The set was originally released by Erato here Piano Sonatas Volume 1, here Piano Sonatas Volume 2/Pommier, here Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Vol.3, and here Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 28-32, Vol.4 - later appearing on cheaply presented Warner "Ultima" 2-CD sets. There is little point in linking to those as this box is much better value-for money.

Jean-Bernard Pommier (17/08/1944) is a highly-regarded French pianist and I think I'm right in saying that he beagn his formal studies with the great Yves Nat Complete Piano Recordings; Pommier is still very active, having given a complete cycle of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas in London as recently as 2008/09. Today he spends more time conducting the likes of the San Francisco Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, and Tonhalle Zurich orchestras, among many others. Pommier made a very good set of Mozart's Piano Sonatas for Virgin/EMI in the 1980sMozart - Piano Sonatas, and is a noted performer of both Mozart and Beethoven.

In a similar fashion to Yves Nat, Pommier brings a finely crafted and clear approach to these oft-recorded works, exhibiting great taste and an appealing freshness to these works. Whilst the set is not necessairily a first choice (how ever could there be one of those?), I like Pommier's distinctively French stlye in these canonical works a great deal, and much prefer his take on the Sonatas to either of Daniel Barenboim's recordings (fine as those are) or the perhaps overly-intellectual Alfred Brendel.

Highly recommended!
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine interpretations and great value-for-money, 22 Feb 2009
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I'd never heard of this artist and was pleased to discover that he's just as good as any of the better-known names. The download speed was very fast and the quality of the files excellent. So I can definitely recommend this set. Moreover, in general I have found that Amazon is cheaper than iTunes for music stuff.
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Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas
Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas by Jean-Bernard Pommier (Audio CD - 2006)
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