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29.5.09

Beethoven Sonatas - A Survey of Complete Cycles
Part 3, 1977 - 1989

V.Ashkenazy • P.Badura-Skoda II • D.Barenboim II • M.Binns • A.Brendel IIR.Buchbinder IA.FischerJ.JandóJ.LillT.NikolayevaB.Roberts • M.Steinberg



available at Amazon

available at Amazon

available at Amazon
Alfred Brendel II
1970 - 1977 - Philips (analog)

Not long after Brendel had finished these recordings, digital became the new thing in the recording industry and so he would go about it for a third time shortly thereafter, recording what is--at least on CD--his most prevalent cycle.

Availability: Update: This cycle has now been re-issued as part of bringing the Philips recordings into the Decca fold... and include Brendel's first cycle of the Beethoven concertos with Haitink and the LPO (76/77). The Eloquence re-issue of the 70s cycle (in the mildly controversial AMSI-ambience remastering) meanwhile includes the Chicago/Levine Concerto recordings.


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
Philips
(Yes)


(Yes)
(Yes)


(Yes)
Decca Yes YesYes Yes

Eloquence

 No

Yes

Yes

Yes



available at ArkivMusic



Malcolm Binns

197? - 1977 (?) -
L'Oiseau-Lyre

Played on different period instruments.

Never issued on CD.
Availability of last 5 Sonatas:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
Explore Records

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes



available at Amazon



Annie Fischer

1976 - 1978* - Hungaroton

These performances were recorded phrase by phrase with retakes, cutting, pasting, and editing taking place as late as 1992 and even beyond Fischer's death. Has its (cult?) following.

Availability:
(Also available on individual discs)


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
EMI
Yes


(Yes)


(Yes)

Yes



available at ArkivMusic



John Lill

1975 - 1980 - ASV (Brilliant, Sanctuary)

Availability:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
Sanctuary
Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes



available at ArkivMusic



Vladimir Ashkenazy

1971 - 1981 - Decca

My first Beethoven Piano Sonata cycle of which especially the early sonatas hold up very well while I've become rather indifferent to much of the rest.

Availability:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
EMI
Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes



available at Amazon


available at Amazon



Rudolf Buchbinder

1979 - 1981 - Telefunken / Telarc

Buchbinder is one of the worlds most avid Beethoven sonata edition collectors with over 18 complete editions in his library. (Interviews here & here.) This is his first Beethoven cycle, recorded for Teldec, and it includes just about all of Beethoven's pieces for solo piano, making it the most complete single-perfomer-cycle, next to Brautigam's. Re-released in 2012.

Availability:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
Telefunken
No


No


No

No
Teldec 2012
Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes



available at Amazon


available at Amazon



Daniel Barenboim II

1981 - 1984 - Deutsche Grammophon / Metropolitan

Barenboim, Take Two. Now for Deutsche Grammophon. The DG is apparently the soundtrack to video that was filmed at Palais Lobkowitz, Palais Rasumovsky, Palais Kinsky, and Schloss Hetzendorf… directed by none less than Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. It's been just re-released on Bluray (3 disc set + Barenboim on Beethoven interview) and DVD (5 individual discs).



Availability:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
DG
Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes
EuroArts Bluray
Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes
EuroArts DVDs
1 - 2 - 3
4 - 5


1 - 2 - 3
4 - 5


1 - 2 - 3
4 - 5

1 - 2 - 3
4 - 5



available at ArkivMusic



Tatiana Nikolayeva

1984 - Melodiya (Olympia (UK), DS Berlin, Scribendum)

What little I've heard about (but not of) this cycle, it must be uncompetitive in every regard. Recorded during a series of Moscow recitals over a few months in very early 1984.

Availability:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
Scribendum

(Yes)


(Yes)


No

Yes



available at ArkivMusic



Bernard Roberts

1981 - 1984 - Nimbus

Availability:


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
Music & Arts

Yes


Yes


Yes

Yes



available at Amazon
available at Amazon



Michael Steinberg

1981 - 1986 - Elysium LPs

Michael Steinberg (no relation to the music critic) and his Beethoven cycle were hard to track down. (Many thanks to Richard Winton, cousin of the recordings' producer, for essential information!)

Steinberg, a graduate of Yale University and Juilliard School of Music, long time pianist-in-residence at the Villa San Michele (Anacapri, Italy), taught in the Music Department of the University of Delaware. He made these recordings in 20 sessions in the Beethoven Halle, of Hannover's Stadthalle. Originally on 12 LPs, the set was briefly re-issued in the US as three box sets of three CDs each, but is now hopelessly out of print.



Country / Label USA UK France Germany
Elysium
No


No


No

No



available at Amazon

available at Amazon

available at Amazon




Paul Badura Skoda II

1978 - 1989* - Auvidis Astrée

Once available on 9 individual CDs. Not currently available in any form**. Played on seven different fortepianos and Hammerklaviers, ranging from a 1790 Schantz PF to a 1824 Conrad Graf HK.
(*Not 1993, as I had previously thought. Hence the 'wrong' inclusion in Part 4 at first, instead of here.)

Edit: The set has just been re-released on XRCD24s in Japan (where else). **It can be found used, albeit only for a pretty penny, on European Amazon sites.


Country / LabelUSA UK FranceGermany
Auvidis Astrée
No


Not really


Not really

Not really
Astrée XRCD-24
Japan











available at ArkivMusic



Jenő Jandó

1987 - 1989 - Naxos

Naxos' pianist for all seasons seems to have recorded the complete-anything. Some Haydn I have of his is very amiable stuff, but the little I've heard of his Beethoven is too bland for making me explore it further.

Availability:
On individual discs. (Two 5-disc sets containing the cycle have since been discontinued.)


Country / Label USA UK France Germany
Gramola
List


(Yes) mp3


(Yes)

Yes




Part 1: 1935 - 1969
Part 2: 1967 - 1974
Part 4: 1990 - 1996
Part 5: 1996 - 1999
Part 6: 2000 - 2005
Part 7: 2006 - 2009
Part 8: 2010 onward

If you have additional information about recording dates, availability, cover art -- or corrections and additions -- your input is much appreciated.

This survey is meant to list all complete sets of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas and their availability in different markets, not to review them.