- Audio CD (Jun 1 2010)
- Number of Discs: 10
- Format: Box set, Import
- Label: EMI Classics
- ASIN: B00000C2KP
- In-Print Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Daniel Barenboim was 25 when he was invited to record them. Has any other pianist ever received such an invitation at that age? Barenboim accepted, but insisted that he be free to record them again if he wished to at a later stage in his career. Well, so far he has made one further complete recording, and that is very fine too.
This set, however, recorded 1966-1969 is the one complete set I prefer above all others. Every listener will have his favourite sonatas and his favourite moments in them. I especially like Barenboim's spontaneous playing of the four sonatas found on CD 8. Elsewhere, Barenboim sometimes has a tendency to push slow tempos to extreme: the variation movements of Nos 30 and 32 are surely excessively slow.
Welcome indeed, especially for those who once owned these recordings on first release vinyl, is the high quality of these 1989 EMI transfers. Adding inestimably to the value of this set are the notes provided by Eric Blom. Slightly abridged and edited here, they originally accompanied the first complete recording of the 32 sonatas made in the 1930s by Artur Schnabel.
Personally, I think his style is just right for Beethoven (but perhaps just a bit much when he plays Mozart). I'm very glad that I bought this set, but some might prefer Brendell's (Phillips) or Kempff's (DG) more sedate versions.