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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Opp. 101, 106, 109-111

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Essentially unsurpassable

    When these performances first were released over 25 years ago, one reviewer said that ultimately any criticism of this set boiled down to the absence of wrong notes. While I hesitate to say of any musical performance that it is perfect, seldom has anyone come closer to perfection than Pollini here. Other performances are no doubt more immediately engaging - though Pollini's imperious opening of the Hammerklavier cannot be bettered for impact - and some may well have liberal doses of the rubato that many people regard as a sign of interpretation. But if you want to hear the unadorned brilliance of Beethoven with no distractions and with none of those fetching idiosyncrasies that make a performance instantly appealing but ultimately tediously mannered, you have to get this set. There is, ultimately, no choice in the matter.

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