Dating from 1932-35, this was the first complete cycle of Beethoven's piano sonatas ever recorded. It has remained available almost continuously since it was first issued, a testimonial to the staying power of these legendary performances. Other pianists may have approached Beethoven with more secure technique, and there are certainly other conceptions of this music that deserve our attention. But the intellectual comprehension and--especially!--the intense emotional projection of Artur Schnabel's performances will remain treasures as long as listeners love Beethoven's music. Competing editions of these recordings on other labels generally cost more and don't improve on EMI's transfers. Treat yourself to this set, ignore some technical struggles in the late sonatas, and you're in for a great voyage of Beethoven discovery.