The recording is clean and conducive to the careful listening which Korstick consistently commands. (…) The pianist has declared his aim is to attain an "ideal", a distillation of Beethoven's piano writing. Perhaps a Platonic "essence" even. If this, rather than something personal, fluid, malleable and potentially as fallible as it is valid appeals to you, then you should investigate the cycle on Oehms. (…) For here is – if not a granite monolith – a commentary on what stone and a chisel can achieve.
Paul Lewis performed all the Beethoven piano sonatas on tour in the USA and Europe between the 2005 and 2007 seasons, in parallel with his complete recording of the cycle for Harmonia Mundi. His interpretation of the Lizst sonata was distinguished by the prestigious Edison Award, while his recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas received two Gramophone Awards in 2008 (Recording of the year and Best Instrumental Recording).
Beethoven was the last great composer to write string trios, and his are the finest works of their type. Mozart hardly touched this particular combination, and Haydn wrote quite few very early works which are now completely unknown. In any case, Haydn used two violins and a cello, whereas with Beethoven the standard combination became violin, viola, and cello. These are all early works, expert examples of all that Beethoven learned from Haydn and Mozart in preparation for the writing of his first great string quartets. But far from being mere composition exercises, these are highly rewarding works on their own, and these outstanding performances make the best possible case for their claim to be ranked among Beethoven's chamber music masterpieces.
Maurizio Pollini’s Beethoven Sonatas cycle has reached completion after nearly 40 years. We celebrate this major event with a handsome 8-CD capbox that provides a fitting testimonial to a great artistic partnership between pianist and record label. The final recordings in the cycle (opp. 31 & 49) are being released simultaneously as a single CD.