Schnabel was the first pianist to record all of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas. It was a monumental project in the 78’s era. He did it in the early 1930`s in London, soon after leaving Germany. He was one of those artists, like Furtwängler, who was more interested in getting to the essence of a work, its ethical core, rather than technical perfection. I know a number of people who think he is a terrible pianist. I have also heard from cellists who say that Casals didn’t know how to play the cello well. I suppose that if what you want to hear is a spotless performance, Schnabel is not for you. However, if you want to understand what these works are about, then Schnabel can point the way.
|Beethoven Piano Sonatas Volume II No. 12-22|