Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 concertos for piano, 32 piano sonatas, and 16 string quartets. He also composed other chamber music, choral works (including the celebrated Missa Solemnis), and songs..
This live Appassionata, from a Moscow recital of 1959, is one of the most thrilling piano performances ever recorded. Sviatoslav Richter fills every moment of the first movement with intense drama, creates the illusion of total repose in the central variations, and then takes off in the finale with an exhibition of musical virtuosity and ever-increasing tension that becomes almost unbearably intense (and unbelievably fast and accurate). The studio Pathétique is quite fine, and the Fantasy (sung in Russian!) well performed by all but still rather quaint in its effect. But don't miss that Appassionata!
John Ogdon was undoubtedly one of the most remarkable pianists to emerge in the post-war period. His phenomenal ability to perform and interpret even the most complex works at first sight alone places him amongst an elite in the history of pianism–Charles Hopkins
Rachmaninov's First Sonata (in D. minor, Op.28) in its powerful impact and vivid embodiment of grandiose philosophical concepts ranks equal with such gems of world piano music as B minor Sonatas by Chopin and Liszt.from the LP cover