Beethoven The Late Works Essential Recordings

Essential Recordings

The late String Quartets
Warner Classics 4817267 (download only)
The Busch Quartet recorded most of these works at Abbey Road in the 1930s. Here, from New York 1941, Opp.130/133 are added.

The late String Quartets
Decca 454 7112 and 454 7122 (four discs)
The superb late '60s set by Quartetto Italiano.

Piano Sonatas Opp.101-111
Sony Classical 88883747352 (two discs)
Impressive 2013 debut set by Igor Levit, then 26 – his London appearances immediately became 'sold out's. Historic choice: Solomon's early 1950s Abbey Road set, which also includes Op.90 [Warner 7647082; three discs].

Piano Sonata Op.106
DG 463 6392
Emil Gilels didn't quite complete a studio cycle for DG, but his majestic 'Hammerklavier' is reissued coupled with Op.101.

Diabelli Variations
Alpha ALPHA386
Martin Helmchen's CD was my HFN Yearbook 2018 solo piano album choice. Historic mono: Rudolf Serkin [1957; Sony download].

Missa Solemnis
DG 453 0162 (two discs)
The best of the four current Karajan versions, with soloists Janowitz/Ludwig/Wunderlich/Berry, the BPO and Vienna Singverein.