I love the music of Beethoven and especially his piano sonatas, symphonies and string quartets. Also I have listened to a LOT of different interpretations and can with certainty say that Brendel is among the absolute winners. And here I'm first of all thinking about the overall performance; it really has depth, musicality and transcendence - in other words; here is a man who understands Beethoven's music.
This is not to say that everything is "perfect" - maybe sometimes one is missing a little clarity - a little more extra technical brilliance, but I believe that it doesn't really matter, because he really tells the story and that is the most important thing. Just listen to the famous 1'rst movement of the "Moonlight Sonata" - a piece that have been played to death, but in Brendel's hands it is a sheer joy - deep and profound, it cannot be any better.
It is a shame that they haven't reissued he's complete performances from the 70's, with an updated mastering, because he's new rerecording of all the sonatas is definitely not as good as the ones from the 70's. You will not regret buying these selected sonatas (from the 70's) - it's just great.
Alfred Brendel is well known and well respected by the musical community as a great interpreter of Beethoven, but the recordings on this cycle are second to none. Alfred Brendel brings the discipline of perfect precision to the music in a way that I have never experienced before; regardless of speed or complexity, each note stands on its own and yet is perfectly part of the whole. One might expect there to be some reduction in expressiveness as a result of such amazing precision, but quite the reverse is true. The feeling that runs through the pieces is wholly genuine, and Brendel never allows technical ability to compromise artistic integrity. Consider the 3rd movement of the Waldstein sonata. The subtlety of the rendition is second to none, and one feels intimately attached to the music, as though Beethoven himself were playing through him. The shifts in velocity, tempo, colour and just the general feeling of the piece are simultaneously uplifting and captivating. Despite this wonder of expressiveness there is never any inappropriate enrichment or thickening of tone, a trap that so many great performers seem unable to escape. This is what it must have been like to hear Liszt perform Beethoven - Alfred Brendel is at the same time a master of precision and expression, one for whom technique and form are as one.
The original recordings may be over thirty years old,but the combination of first-rate transfer to CD and Alfred Brendel's superb interpretation of Beethoven's piano sonatas,make this collection,in my opinion,the benchmark by which other recordings should be judged. The price is amazing value.For me,the Moonlight especially the challenging Presto was simply wonderful.
I recently brought this CD of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas and haven't taken it out of my CD player since. Brendel's playing is technically brilliant but not flashy, charming but not over sentimental. Throughout the Cds the melody sings out and I don't feel like I am listening to a recording- close your eyes and Brendel is playing live in front of you.
This is one of the best recordings of piano sonatas I have ever brought!
Who better than Brendel to dip into the Beethoven Sonatas - this twin pack is a good selection from all 32 Piano Sonatas by the Great Master and it has persuaded me to seek out more of Brendel playing Beethoven.
I have lots of Beethoven piano music and several of the pieces on this disc by other musicians, but having read the glowing reviews of this Alfred Brendell recording I decided to buy it. There's no point me adding anything to the previous reviews because they say it all - head and shoulders above most of what's available. Crystal clear, no flamboyance or histrionics - simply played as Beethoven wrote it! Pure joy - Thanks to all the others who've enjoyed it before and told us about it. If you love piano music & Beethoven in particular - just buy it and enjoy.