BEETHOVEN Piano Sonatas Nos. 5-8 Pollini 4748102

The adulation is well deserved. Now in his mid-60s, Pollini has coupled his fearsome
technical facility with a breadth of taste and intellectual curiosity about music that has
made his four-decade career unique.

. . . a stunning CD . . .

. . . you'll hear things you've never heard before, played with a conviction that carries you along. The sound is detailed . . . All in all . . . well worth consideration for its virtues.

. . . his care with rhythmic details and with ensuring that every texture is crystal clear pays dividends . . . the class and intellectual clarity of the playing are never in doubt.

Now in his early sixties, Maurizio Pollini has lost none of the clarity and precision of his youth. The great pianist is more emotionally engaged with these early Beethoven sonatas than is usually associated with his playing . . . Pollini is at his lyrical best in the slow movement of the "Pathétique": he also fully captures the fantasy and vivid contrasts of the Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor without making one ugly sound.

The mastery of the pianism itself is never in doubt . . .

. . . there is deliciously youthful quality about his playing of early Beethoven in this enchanting disc. His touch is light and sparkling, the energy mercurial rather than elemental, but every moment is compelling . . .

If you want to hear the notes realised to perfection, this is the version to go for. And it will remain so for centuries to come.

Rich, sonorous and equalized . . . The "Pathétique" in C minor is the stunning centerpiece of this recording. Its gorgeous, noble first movement and the sweetly singing "andante cantabile" are as tragic, sensuous and expressive as any piano music ever penned, and Pollini gives a heart-stopping performance. In a single word: yum.

Immaculate technique . . . The simple fact is that rival pianists could only unearth less in the pieces, or sentimentalize them. Everything Pollini brings out in them seems that essential. The "Pathetique" emerges in a nearly ideal interpretation.

His technical command seems limitless, comparable to the uncanny pianism of his one-time teacher, Michelangeli. This is far more than merely playing all of the notes with precision. Pollini makes the piano a living, breathing instrument, with pulse, color, and soaring singing lines. Now in his early sixties, he makes these qualities come through as strongly as ever . . . This music unfolds with exceptional grace and wisdom. In terms of performance and DG's sterling production values, this is a wonderful CD. Because it is music that has been copiously recorded by so many great artists, and because Pollini is one of the most acclaimed pianists alive, I hold this recording to the hightest possible standards.

Virtuos agil, variantenreich im Tempo, vielschichtig im Spannungsaufbau.

Apollinisch klar, brillant, konturenreich und voll Drive fällt Pollinis Auseinandersetzung mit frühen Beethoven-Meisterwerken aus.

Bei dieser CD überfällt den Beethoven-Freund freudige Erregung . . . durchgehend dramatisch gespannt, sehnig, jugendlich. Da der Klavierklang mit leichtem Konzertsaalflair gut eingefangen ist, darf man sich wonnig in den Sessel fallen lassen.

Die in Münchens Herkulessaal eingespielten Sonaten dokumentieren perfektes Klavierspiel. Aus profundem Stilverständnis wächst Maurizio Pollinis Interpretation, die untrügliches Formgefühl auszeichnet.

glänzend wie eh und je . . .

. . . on admire . . . sa puissance, sa présence dramatique, sa vie contagieuse.

Mago del piano y también excelente director . . .

... aquí está todo el apasionamiento y la poesía del gran Pollini, el Pollini maduro que hará un par de años nos regaló a todos unas inolvidables Variaciones Diabelli. ... este compacto en sí mismo es una valiosísima aportación a la discografía de Beethoven; o lo que es lo mismo, una referencia, y no sólo de la Patética (una de las versiones más hermosas e intensas que puedan escucharse) sino también de las otras tres.

. . . una Sexta ligera y virtuosa, rozando la intrascendencia, una Séptima muy interesante, con un impresionante largo y una interpretación contrastada y sutil . . .