P0068. ARTUR SCHNABEL: The Complete Sonatas (Beethoven). 10-Document 223051, recorded 1932-34. Boxed Set. Final Sealed Copy! - 4011222230515
"The more I hear of Schnabel's Beethoven, the less I desire to hear other pianists in this literature. I know that this is a narrow-minded attitude, but I have never heard any other pianist who could approach this kind of vital and profound music-making. Much has been said about Schnabel's supremacy in the late Sonatas, but his mastery of these early works is also supreme. He brings to these works a sparkle and restless vitality in the fast movements that makes the music come alive as no one else can. And he has the courage to respect the extreme slow tempi of the slow movements. The Rondo a capricio 'Rage over a Lost Penny' is breathtaking in its drive, yet all the charm and wit of the piece is there. Once you hear Schnabel, no one else will do.h
- Ralph J. Steinberg
"Schnabel was known for championing the then-neglected sonatas of Schubert and, even more so, Beethoven, including his more challenging late works. Schnabel did much to popularize Beethoven's piano music, making the first complete recording of the sonatas, completing the set for the British label HMV in 1935. This set of recordings has never been out of print, and is considered by many to be the touchstone of Beethoven sonata interpretations, though shortcomings in finger technique mar many performances of fast movements. (Sergei Rachmaninoff is supposed to have referred to him as 'the great adagio pianist'. It has been said that he suffered greatly from nerves when recording; in a more private setting, his technique was impeccable. Claudio Arrau has said that Schnabel's live performances during the 1920s were technically flawless. He also recorded all the Beethoven piano concerti."