Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1 - Backhaus

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1 - Backhaus

Universal (Japan)  UCGD-9065/67 (3 discs)

Stereo Single Layer

Classical - Instrumental

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 1-17

Wilhelm Backhaus (piano)

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Analogue recording
Comments (4)

Comment by Contrapunctus - June 13, 2019 (1 of 4)

One listener already recommends this new set: please give us some insight into your first listening experience, thank you!

Comment by DYB - July 1, 2019 (2 of 4)

I just sat down to listen to a couple of the sonatas (Nos. 8 and 17). I won't get into the performances (they are a known entity), but the transfers: very clean and present. There is tape hiss on both (No. 8 is from 1958 and No. 17 is from 1963), but I prefer that to over-cleansed remasterings that remove the ambience of the sound (and you stop hearing the hiss after a few minutes). The piano (especially on 17) has a wonderful presence and brilliance; there is no distortion in the loudest passages. I'm very happy with the purchase (to keep company the other 20 or so cycles I already have.)

As it happens I was in the midst of going through the other Wilhelm's (Kempff) recent HD remasterings of the Beethoven Sonatas. Kempff's recordings come from the early 1960s. It is, of course, impossible to know *why* Kempff's have less tape noise (state of master tapes, original recordings, transfer choices, etc.), but they do (at least judging from Backhaus' No. 17, which would be contemporaneous to Kempff's.)

Comment by Contrapunctus - July 2, 2019 (3 of 4)

Thank you, DYB for your reply. I've just ordered these two new editions...

Comment by George P - January 18, 2024 (4 of 4)

Anyone compare this set to the Original Masters CD set?