BEETHOVEN Piano Sonatas op. 31 + op. 49 / Pollini 4794325

. . . his playing has a trim, classical cut with plenty of vitality, and a blunt, brusque Beethoven also bursts through from time to time.

. . . fearsomely implacable playing . . . especially in the D-minor Sonata Op 31 No 2, but also moments of delicacy and even wit in the first of the set in G major.

. . . a series of sensitive and insightful readings . . . every phrase is filled with character. The results will certainly satisfy Pollini's many loyal fans, but should also find appreciative audiences further afield . . . The arpeggio figures in the first movement of Sonata No. 17 flow and cascade satisfyingly -- velvety waves of sound . . . The final movement of Sonata No. 18 sparkles with a naive-sounding joie de vivre, a straightforward jollity devoid of aesthetic pretentions. The sound Quality [is excellent] . . . All round, a solid Beethoven sonata recording.

. . . beautifully set out . . . [and] quite outstanding in the D-minor, "The Tempest" . . . Pollini finds humour in the two Op.49, but what is most impressive is the way he makes you aware of how 'audacious' Beethoven was in his writing of the three middle period works. Wonderful!

Pollini clot une intégrale des trente-deux sonates entamée il y a quarante ans avec le brillant triptyque de l'Opus 31 et le modeste diptyque de l'Opus 49 . . . La Sonate op. 31 no. 1 a fičre allure . . . d'un technicien ŕ la rigueur autrefois proverbiale . . . [op. 31 no. 2]: La nouvelle version, plus rapide de deux minutes, montre un accompagnement désormais fondu, une dynamique tassée, un geste moins impitoyable. Le finale, trop boulé, se nimbe d'une sonorité dorée et non plus aveuglante . . . Dans la premičre sonate de l'Opus 49, il enlčve bien l'Allegro . . . Il dépeint trčs joliment la seconde, rendant significatif le "Tempo di menuetto".
Pollini finishes the cycle of thirty-two sonatas begun forty years ago with the brilliant triptych of Opus 31 and a modest diptych of Opus 49 . . . The Sonata op. 31 no. 1 has the fiery allure... from a technician of once proverbial rigour. . . [op. 31 no. 2]: the new, faster version, by two minutes, shows an accompaniment which now melts, packed with dynamics and less ruthless gestures. The finale, though very stormy, has a halo of golden tone rather than blinding light . . . In the first Sonata from Opus 49 the Allegro is delivered excellently . . . and he beautifully depicts the second, with a significant rendering of the "Tempo di menuetto".