Nelson Goerner : Beethoven: Sonata No. 29 ‘hammerklavier’, Bagatelles Op. 126


88.2kHz/24-bit, FLAC; Alpha ALPHA-239 (supplied by

‘Shavings from the master’s work bench.’ The Argentinian pianist kicks this cliché into touch and his account of the last set of Bagatelles, beautifully timed to highlight every facet, is perhaps the best we’ve had. You wonder if Beethoven pondered their suitability for expansion – this was his last piano opus. Goerner’s Hammerklavier impresses in its outer movements, with majesty in the first (repeat taken) and torrential in the 238 risoluto bars of finale counterpoint. But then his Dolce Cantabile – a magical moment with Kempff – doesn’t convince, while his Adagio Sostenuto is objective more than inward. He’s a rather ‘monochrome’ pianist, and the Osborne/Hyperion Op.106 [HFN Mar ’17] has greater expressive variety and is the one to live with. The Alpha recordings were made in the Teldex Studio: no reservations here. CB

Sound Quality: 80%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

This is not a downsample of a DSD file but a true 88.2kHz LPCM recording that makes great use of the available 24-bit dynamic range. The ~44kHz bandwidth is perfect for capturing the harmonic range of the piano in the Allegro(s). PM