Notes and Editorial Reviews
It goes without saying that these works are amply served via recordings from Schnabel to Serkin - to this august roster we easily can add the veteran Kuerti.
I hope that Anton Kuerti's 2003 remakes of Beethoven's last three sonatas will spur him on to re-record the other 29, for these new versions are infinitely superior to his 1974/75 recordings. The pianist remains thoroughly devoted to microscopic detail and grand clarification, but his compulsive drive and raspy surface style have considerably mellowed, while his soft playing has gained body and luminescence. To sample Kuerti's newly found serenity and flow in this music, listen to his spacious parsing of Op. 109's rhapsodic introductory movement and to his
patiently unfolding trills in that sonata's third movement variations and in Op. 111's Arietta, and notice how he builds Op. 110's long-lined Adagio ma non troppo from the bottom up. His rubatos in the latter sonata's Fugue no longer seem artificially tacked on but rather are organically integrated into the music's visionary path. His basic measured tempos for Op. 111, once static and fussy, now emerge as all of one piece. It goes without saying that these works are amply served via recordings from Schnabel to Serkin and Kempff to Kempf, with Hungerford, Goode, Pollini, and Richter for good measure. To this august roster we easily can add the veteran Kuerti.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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