The Aeolian Quartet's epic cycle, originally released in the Seventies, was one of the gramophone's major contributions to Haydn's cause. Listening to the performances anew I find they have lost none of their freshness: they were based on the latest research, and the playing itself is always intelligent and thoughtful, with Emanuel Hurwitz's sweet-toned violin-playing a great asset throughout. (Misha Donat)
…Technically Kennedy's playing as represented on this disc is beyond reproach—anyone who can play the finales flying thirds and sixths with such dash and precision plainly knows how to get what he wants out of the instrument. The performance is, as you would expect, highly idiosyncratic, though fortunately there's nothing to match the controversial stylistic excursions of his Four Seasons… Kennedy seems inclined to treat the [first] movement as a kind of colossal accompanied cadenza…
…Another major strong point of this recording is the sound; the German audiophile label MDG outdoes itself here in an old riding stadium that displays the music's serenade-like textures to beautiful effect. Chamber players should absolutely get to know this music. There is nothing in the individual lines that would challenge good student musicians, but they stand to learn a great deal about subtle balance and interaction by playing this music. And they'll give their audiences a pleasant surprise, too.
Maurizio Pollini continues to complete his cycle of recordings of all of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas. This is the second to last disc before Pollini completes the Beethoven Sonatas Cycle. One of the greatest pianists of our time presents his own unique and individual survey of giants of the piano repertoire. Recorded at the KKL Luzern and the Herkulessaal (Residence) in Munich. A special album from a special pianist – and one with appeal beyond the world of piano aficionados. Maurizio Pollini is one of Deutsche Grammophon’s icons, having been exclusively with the company for over four decades.