Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Opp. 27/2, 28, 31/2, 53, 54, 57, 78 & 111

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: Decca Double Decca
WORKS: Piano Sonatas, Opp. 27/2, 28, 31/2, 53, 54, 57, 78 & 111
PERFORMER: Friedrich Gulda (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 443 012-2 ADD (1973)
Never ranked beside Schnabel, Kempff or Backhaus, Gulda’s memorably idiosyncratic, frequently bemusing interpretations blinded many listeners to the qualities of his artistry. Without lionising the music beyond its natural limits (his account of Op. 111 shows as much in its absence of rhetoric), Gulda gave performances that were touchingly personal, though these CD transfers of LP masters made in 1957 and 1958 are so dispiritingly hiss-ridden as to prejudice the ear negatively from the start. Not recommended. Michael Jameson

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