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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 5-7, Op. 10 Nos. 1-3 & No.8, Op.13

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Amazon's Maurizio Pollini Store

Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Aug. 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B0000SWNIE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 303,623 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
These are wonderful performances by Pollini and are amongst the best in his Beethoven piano sonata recordings. The opus 10 sonatas are played with real joy and verve, but every note is perfectly weighted and each phrase brought to life. If you don't know them, the opus 10 sonatas are three little gems: not as serious as some of the later sonatas, but well crafted, witty and distinctly Beethoven. His genius shines throughout.
Pollini's account of the opus 13 sonata, the Pathetique, is masterful. I first heard it on the radio when the CD was released and I knew on first listening that it was the greatest account of the Pathetique I had ever heard. Hearing it again (and again) has not deadened my enthusiasism. It is muscular, weighty and Pollini's control of dynamics is simply breathtaking.
I listened to this record three times on the day I bought it alone. I thoroughly recommended it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pollini marvellously conveys Beethoven's inner world 4 April 2010
By P. Adrian - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Now in his sixties - but still at the peak of his technical powers and stylistically enriched by a five decades prodigious stage experience and uninterrupted meditation on the depths of the scores he interprets - Maurizio Pollini offers in recent years some fresh accounts of his beloved repertory: Beethoven and Chopin. For this Beethoven CD he chose some early Sonatas including the wonderful "Patetique", along with the three ones bearing op.10 in Titan's catalogue.

The result of revisiting these immortal masterpieces simply seduces, for Pollini exactly knows what to extract out of them beyond the sparkling effects of his technical prowess. There are in this recording a lot of divergent vectors that combine with one another in order to compellingly convey Beethoven's inner world: ferocious tension and serene soaring, immediate drama and ecstatic recollection, bravura and tenderness, hail of notes and chords interspersing lovely floating melodies, upsurges melted into restrained whispers. All these voiced up through the well-known features of Pollini's virtuosity that means: inexhaustible palette of colours, alertness, nervousness, steel fingers and - most of all - a rare sense of conceiving and building a musical structure.

I think Pollini should seriously consider to record the whole cycle of Beethoven sonatas (even to re-record some of them issued in his youth), provided that always the late artist is more inspired, more profound and thus much more charming. This CD has convinced us that he has now something very important to say and he is ready to shade a fresh new light on the pieces he plays. It could be a sound brick at the foundation of his musical legacy - Pollini's XXI century rendition of the Beethoven 32 Sonatas. Marvellous!
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master of the Piano 7 May 2006
By Keith Smith - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When it comes to recordings of Beethoven, Pollini, one of the legendary masters of the piano, has only one rival: Claudio Arrau. These pieces require an instinctive sense of tempo, a touch rich in tone, and the ability to drive the hammers to a climax, with pleasing harmonicity. Pollini has it all! For those of you who like easy listening, don't buy this CD, and stay as far away from Beethoven as you possibly can! You'll never undrestand his music, especially the 8th. Sonata!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revealing Op. 10 performances 15 Jun. 2009
By Russell I. Burnett - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Other reviewers here have focused on the Op. 13 sonata (Pathetique). While I agree with the praise they give it, I'm surprised to find so little mention of the three Op. 10 sonatas on this disc, for these are what draw me back to this album frequently. Don't get caught thinking this is a "Pathetique + three fillers" album; these are all compositions (and performances) of high quality.
I'm a big Pollini fan, so I actually purchased this album merely out of interest in his interpretations (i.e. I didn't think too much of these sonatas at the time--I thought Beethoven wrote so much that is better than this). However, this recording has really changed my opinion. Pollini brings out both the beauty and the drive in these sonatas, to the point that now I really like them all. (I should acknowledge that Andras Schiff's free online lectures on these pieces significantly elevated my opinion of them as well. Highly recommend both this recording and the Schiff lectures.)

This is typical of my experience with other Pollini recordings; many compete for my "personal favorite" status, but even those that do not still significantly increase my appreciation for the works.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing performance and sound 22 Sept. 2010
By J. TIMMERMAN - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Pollini's recording of the late Beethoven Sonatas (28-32) is outstanding in every way, full of verve and confidence, with a realistic piano sound. This recording of early sonatas pales by comparison. It sounds like he was having a bad day (as were the sound engineers). Performances are cold and rather uninspired, almost rote, while the piano has a strange remote muddy sound as if the microphones were badly placed according to the room. Schiff's live recording is better although the piano sound is barely above mediocre, Brendel's live recording of the 90's perhaps better still (but you have to put up with applause). Kovacevich's Philips recording of Nos.5 and 8 (available in a box set of sonatas and concertos) has the most realistic sound, but there's no 6 or 7. His EMI recordings are too trebly, lacking the warmth that the Philips engineers gave him. Then there's the older recordings of Kempff and Arrau with whom you can never go wrong on Beethoven.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD 2 Jun. 2006
By Matt - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is a great CD. I love listening to his rendition of the "Pathetique" Sonata (but then again, I've never heard a recording of that Sonata I didn't like...). His playing has so much drive and intensity, it's really quite amazing. His sense of rhythm and pulse are unmatched (except for Horowitz), while still keeping the integrity of the piece at hand. Highly recommended.
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