Christoph Eschenbach

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 29 "Hammerklavier" & 30-32; Bagatelles, Op. 126

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This set is a remastered issue of Eschenbach's recordings from the mid-'70s. His reading of these great, late Beethoven sonatas is fascinating. The slower movements, such as the Adagio of the Hammerklavier, and even places within the second movement of the Sonata No. 32 and the Bagatelles, become almost stream of consciousness music, but these are not random thoughts jumbled together. The counterpoint in the first movement of the Sonata No. 32 is coherent and reasoned with dedicated feeling. Eschenbach has a clear sense of the music. The only detraction from his performances is the sound, which is somewhat thin, making the passages in the upper registers sound almost dainty and delicate and the maestoso passages lose some of their prodfundity.

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