- Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major ("Pastoral"), Op. 28
- Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor ("Pathétique"), Op. 13
- Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2/3
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Angela Hewitt's Beethoven recordings for Hyperion will not be regarded as the most heroic, stormy, or passionate ever made, but her polished technique, transparent execution, and penetrating interpretations make her performances exciting to hear, even if they aren't frenzied, hair-pulling experiences. Hewitt is best known as a leading exponent of J.S. Bach's keyboard music, and her impeccable playing may seem better suited to the narrow range of expression in Baroque music than to the much greater mood swings of late Classical and early Romantic music, which are especially pronounced in Beethoven's works. Still, there is much to recommend Hewitt's playing in these three piano sonatas, where her clear lines and controlled dynamics give nuances and dimensions to the music, and place the emphasis on refinement over showiness and finesse over force. The delicacy of Hewitt's playing of the "Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major" is appealing, and the expressive details she finds in the "Piano Sonata in D major, Pastoral," are compelling and quite affecting; the most noticeable subtleties come in the "Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Pathétique," which Hewitt plays with suppleness, freshness, and clarity, and she almost makes one forget that this is one of Beethoven's most overworked warhorses. Hyperion's sound meets its highest standards, and the piano sounds crisp and clean in this resonant recording.
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