5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Very Enjoyable Collection,
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This review is from: Piano Sonatas Nos 8 14 15 17 21 23 26 29 31 32 (Audio CD)
When I was a sophomore in college, the cultural highlight of the year came when our little liberal arts college hosted a recital by a famous pianist. The capstone of the recital was Beethoven's "Waldstein" sonata, and the pianist was Stephen Kovacevich. This collection makes me recall the pleasure I took in that event. Kovacevich (and EMI) give us a "favorites" collection that includes not just the usual suspects--the named sonatas like the "Moonlight," the "Appassionata," and, yes, the "Waldstein" which have been recorded countless times--but three of the late sonatas as well, the "Hammerklavier" along with Nos. 31 and 32. Kovacevich may not give the ultimate performances of all these sonatas--his "Appassionata" does not measure up to Gilels' account, for instance--but he has plenty to say about them. This 3-CD set would be a good choice for someone who wants some Beethoven sonatas in their music library, but can't quite spring for a complete set, or as a supplement for someone who owns a complete set (by someone else) and wants to sample other interpretations. As of the date of this review, it has the added attraction of being an excellent value.