Great performances of opp. 53 and 110
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These are among my favourite recordings of op. 53 and op. 110. Kovacevich clearly has the measure of these great sonatas in every respect: technically, intellectually, and in terms of overall emotional affect. Judging from many of its recordings, op. 53 seems particularly difficult to bring off completely, yet Kovacevich finds the right combination of intensity and restraint, delicacy and weight. The same characteristics distinguish Kovacevich's op. 110. (I find op. 78 rather cool and I don't get a strong sense of what Kovacevich thinks the piece is all about--I much prefer Kempff in this sonata.)I've heard about half-a-dozen discs worth of Kovacevich's Beethoven from various periods and this is the one that most stands out for me. In particular, I prefer this op. 110 to his earlier version for Philips. The textures are clearer and I think K. makes better use of the inner parts--compare the two first movements, for instance."