Editors’ Notes Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata, No. 21 of his 32, is one of the pinnacles of his so-called Middle Period—10 astoundingly productive years that also gave us the Fifth Symphony, Violin Concerto, and Fidelio. Powerful, hugely ambitious, and form-expanding, the “Waldstein” (immortalizing his friend and patron Count Waldstein) has drama in spades, and throws down many challenges for the pianist. And on this classic recording, the Russian Emil Gilels perfectly conveys its nobility and technical brilliance, beautifully gauging the sonata’s magnificent architecture. Its two companions here—both also high points of the Middle Period, and both superbly played—merely confirm this recording’s peerless status.

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Piano Sonata No. 21 in C, Op. 53, "Waldstein"
Piano Sonata No. 21 in C, Op. 53, "Waldstein": I. Allegro con brio
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Piano Sonata No. 21 in C, Op. 53, "Waldstein": II. Introduzione: Adagio molto
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Piano Sonata No. 21 in C, Op. 53, "Waldstein": III. Rondo: Allegretto moderato
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Piano Sonata No. 21 in C, Op. 53, "Waldstein": IV. Prestissimo
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Piano Sonata No. 26 in E Flat, Op. 81a, "Les adieux"
Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-Flat, Op. 81a, "Les adieux": I. Das Lebewohl: Adagio - Allegro
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Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-Flat, Op. 81a, "Les adieux": II. Abwesendheit: Andante espressivo)
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Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-Flat, Op. 81a, "Les adieux": III. Das Wiedersehn: Vivacissimamente
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Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57, "Appassionata"
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57, "Appassionata": I. Allegro assai
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Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57, "Appassionata": II. Andante con moto
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Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57, "Appassionata": III. Allegro ma non troppo
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