Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Opp. 109-111 (CD)

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Steven Osborne

Beethoven’s three final sonatas constitute one of music’s great spiritual journeys, one which only a very few pianists are qualified to undertake.

Steven Osborne, whose Beethoven has been widely acclaimed, need fear no comparisons.

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The Classical Music Collector

"It is scarcely worth applying superlatives to these last three Piano Sonatas of Beethoven; they are sufficiently great that the only comparable works are perhaps the last three Piano Sonatas of his almost-contemporary Schubert. It is also fairly certain that Beethoven regarded these works as his last statements in the form. Tackling these pinnacles of the repertoire takes a pianist of great vision and insight, and Steven Osborne is one such. He has previously recorded several of the more famous Beethoven Sonatas, but also a range of other composers, from Britten and Ravel to Debussy and Feldman. Perhaps it requires this breadth of musicality and technique to adequately broach these culminatory works. Osborne’s readings are magisterial, from the genial rhetoric of the opening of Op. 109 to the sublime timelessness of the Arietta that concludes Op. 111 and offers, as the liner notes to the CD say, “a true foretaste of heaven”." - Chris Dench


Gramophone Magazine

Recording of the Month - May 2019

"From the first note, Osborne’s kinship with the composer is everywhere apparent and he conveys the vast contrasts of the last three sonatas unerringly...What is particularly winning about this new set is the way Osborne occupies the very different world of each sonata with equal conviction...Osborne has made many outstanding recordings but this is certainly among his finest. A magnificent achievement."

International Piano

5 Stars

"An endlessly enlightening album, finely recorded. Essential listening."

The Times

5 Stars

"With his thoughtfulness, razor-sharp attack, rhythmic dash and vast expressive range, Osborne manages to x-ray these complex, mysterious and volatile scores, bringing out their inner workings, yet without making them bony or dry...his ultimate and selfless achievement has been to make the listener newly appreciate what an extraordinary, uplifting and contemporary composer Beethoven is."

Pianist Magazine

5 Stars

"All adding up to a distinguished release that should be on any shortlist of recommendations"

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Beethoven Piano Sonata in E major Op 109
1. Vivace ma non troppo – Adagio espressivo
2. Prestissimo 
3. Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo: Gesangvoll mit innigster Empfindung

Beethoven Piano Sonata in A flat major Op 110 
4. Moderato, cantabile molto espressivo 
5. Allegro molto 
6. Adagio ma non troppo – Fuga: Allegro ma non troppo 

Beethoven Piano Sonata in C minor Op 111 
7. Maestoso – Allegro con brio ed appassionato 
8. Arietta: Adagio