20 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Having first recorded Beethoven’s final three piano sonatas in 1977, the great Italian pianist Maurizio Pollini returns to them in a new live recording. Pollini’s playing has lost none of its majesty in the intervening years, but perhaps where, in the studio, his performances may have previously emerged a little too pristine, here Beethoven’s artistic struggles and technical challenges are thrust further into the open. Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111 rages anew, its astonishing Arietta and variations restless, searching. Op. 109 initially treads a more lyrical course, but Pollini constantly heaves Beethoven’s mental agonies, once again, to the surface. This is dramatic, wild, bold playing that demands to be heard.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Having first recorded Beethoven’s final three piano sonatas in 1977, the great Italian pianist Maurizio Pollini returns to them in a new live recording. Pollini’s playing has lost none of its majesty in the intervening years, but perhaps where, in the studio, his performances may have previously emerged a little too pristine, here Beethoven’s artistic struggles and technical challenges are thrust further into the open. Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111 rages anew, its astonishing Arietta and variations restless, searching. Op. 109 initially treads a more lyrical course, but Pollini constantly heaves Beethoven’s mental agonies, once again, to the surface. This is dramatic, wild, bold playing that demands to be heard.

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