"I was looking for Ivan Moravec's Late Piano Sonatas when I found this one. I bought it because the price was right (two CD's for the price of one!) and the performer was a first rated pianist (what can I lose?). My only concern had to do with how bad the sound would be, but since this CD was also including the lovely and enigmatic "Hammerklavier" Sonata.... I decided to take a risk. There was no Review available and I had to further information. When I listened to it I could not believe my ears! I thought it was "too good to be true". The sound is excellent in the CD and the young Brendel gave his best in these performances. I fell so compelled with these renditions that I went out and bought the other three albums and had the same satisfaction. A quality recording from a Brendel that mesmerizes in his enchanting and sure execution of Beethoven's Sonatas. Certainly a Great Buy!"
Best Bang for the Buck
ladror | Vernon Hills, IL USA | 12/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The question is what you are after. If it's bang for the buck you are after, look no further. If it's the bang that you are after, read on. These 1962 recordings of Beethoven's late sonatas are Brendel's first. He was already a great pianist but what he learned since then is immeasurable! Since then he recorded Beethoven's late sonatas 2 more times; in the seventies (which I have not listen to) and then in December of 1995 (by Philips). His 1995 recording is the closest to perfection you would ever get. A great pianist is one who never stops learning. Brendel is exactly that."
Underrated Early Brendel
Douglas Broehl | Delafield, Wis. | 10/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think that Brendel's early Beethoven recordings are underrated and have not been given the credit they deserve. Some of the bad reviews here at Amazon are unwarranted. Brendel's playing here is excellent. I compared these recordings with Goode's "Late Sonatas" CD and found Goode to be lacking in every respect. Brendel has a wonderful understanding of all the nuances of the score, and contrary to what Brendel's detractors say, his playing is not cold and aloof. To the contrary, I found his playing lively and great attention to detail is seen throughout this entire cycle. The numerous shifts in tone and feel that Beethoven put into each peice are picked up by Brendel. The sound is very good also. The mic is close to the piano and there is hardly any echoing, which means the sound is clear and direct. Everyone may not like this set, but I am very happy with it and I believe it is one of the best Beethoven cycles around."
Leeber Cohen | 01/02/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I owned these performances on the Vox LPs over 40 years ago. I highly enjoyed them then and they are still quite enjoyable. If you can afford three budget sets those by Claude Franke, Wilhelm Kempff, and this set are a nice place to start. (I would suggest in that order) The complete sonatas can be obtained for about $40.00 All three performers are incredible in their very different interpretive styles. There are certainly many fulled price sets that are not as enjoyable as these sets. For Brendel fans you may want to consider the 35 disc set on Brilliant. It contains recordings made by Brendel for Vox AND Vanguard including music by multiple composers including the complete Beethoven sonatas. The CDs cost less than $2.00 a piece which is a great deal. I have not listened to this Brilliant set but one Amazon reviewer reports better improved sound quality. If you are an audiophile you may want to purchase other recordings but I find these particular Vox CDs very listenable."
Great Value, Great Performances
grandpiano_57 | Burlington, CT USA | 07/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have all 3 volumes in this cycle of Beethoven Sonatas recorded in the early 60's by Brendel. They are truly an exceptional value as each package contains 2 discs worth of music. The sound is very good overall and the performances are masterful. This particular volume offers Beethoven's late Sonata's along with the tour-de-force Hammerklavier. The riches unfold with each hearing and the performances of all these great works is at a very high level. A great purchase!"