P0314. CRAIG SHEPPARD: The Complete Sonatas (Beethoven). 9-Roméo 7233/41, Live Performances, University of Washington, Seattle, 2004. Slipcase Edition. - 675754820725
"I can only begin to imagine how daunting it must be to set out to record Beethoven’s canon of 32 piano sonatas against a playing field whose goal posts have been set by some of the greatest artists of the past (Artur Schnabel and Annie Fischer), not so past (Claudio Arrau, Emil Gilels, and Wilhelm Kempff).…having firsthand knowledge of all the above-mentioned artists, I am prepared to say that Craig Sheppard’s Beethoven now supplants all of them for my personal preference….these CDs are magnificently recorded, engineered, and produced. The audiences are dead silent – probably enraptured as I was – until they applaud at the end….This is a major addition to the Beethoven discography, and urgently recommended to anyone who cares passionately for this music."
- Jerry Dubins, FANFARE, Sept./Oct., 2005
"This lofty ambition is excelled in performances which find Sheppard reaching for the stars so that what can seem like a dutiful trudge through some of music’s greatest pages becomes an exhilarating quest brimming over with zest, insight and affection. This is never Beethoven as we have always known him but sounding as if new-minted, with the dust and patina of stale custom and tradition swept aside with dazzling relish and aplomb. Above all, these are ‘speaking’ performances so that whether blazing or confiding Beethoven’s genius, Sheppard is never less than eloquent, his outsize technique and personality always at the composer’s service whether his character be playful, irascible or profound."
- Bryce Morrison, GRAMOPHONE, June, 2006