Notes and Editorial Reviews
"In the Appassionata it is more a matter of very small differences of detail—such as the grading of the nuance in the last, soft chords (much more mysteriously withdrawn here) before the first movement's final explosion, or the timing of the soft spread chord (again more mysterious because less hurried) before the thunderclap at the end of the slow movement—than of any drastic revision of total conception. There is certainly no middle-aged-spread in the first movement: nervous excitability still 'wins the day here. The slow movement is perhaps even more beautifully shaped than before (which is saying a lot), with every individual note contributing something vital. In the finale there is the same reluctance to hurry the presto coda. At
first you may feel it is almost too deliberate. Yet Beethoven himself builds so much excitement into the swirling surges of the last few bars that you eventually appreciate Brendel's foresight in not putting himself into the position of having to rush and skimp it.
I don't think anyone who invested in the Turnabout reissues need feel any need to discard them as immature--far from it. But naturally Brendel's up-to-the-minute thoughts about Beethoven, plus Philips's more sympathetic sound, are bound to be the first choice of anyone with an extra pound or so to spare."
-- Gramophone [6/1971]
Reviewing original LP release of the Appassionata Sonata
"Despite the calm of the first movement of the Moonlight, there are more artfully inflected accompanying triplets than before, and less self-conscious phrasing and pointmaking in the Allegretto. The G major Sonata may be slighter than many of its fellows, but here I particularly enjoyed Brendel's response to the robust, rustic implications of the first movement's alla tedesca, also his total avoidance of sentimentality when "two ladies singing to the lute" anticipate Mendelssohn in the Andante. All the humour of the finale is summed up in the way he plays its last cadence. The tone is as warm as those earlier Vox/Turnabout discs were chilly. A choice record."
-- J .0. C., Gramophone [2/1973]
Reviewing original LP release of the Moonlight Sonata
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