The partnership between the late Viennese pianist Paul Badura-Skoda and Michel Bernstein, the French record producer who founded Arcana, proved to be one of the most fruitful and long-lasting relationships in the history of recording. Among their most significant achievements is the set comprising the complete piano sonatas of Franz Schubert played on period instruments. Recorded in the 1990s, it has long been a benchmark and one of the Arcana catalogue’s top bestsellers (A 364 – 9 CDs).

As part of the Beethoven celebrations, Arcana is now releasing a new edition of a related recording made in the 1980s that has been out of print for many years. To this day it is one of the few complete recordings on period instruments, and is in many respects an unrivalled achievement.

 

‘For the complete recording of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, the performer has chosen seven instruments of the period. Period instruments are sometimes victims of haphazard conservation and hasty or unscrupulous restoration. However, the best of them possess an inimitable sound, a richness of colour that is almost unconceivable and an indefinable charm. That is the reason why Paul Badura-Skoda works solely with original instruments, accepting the risk of difficulties in order to bring out the poetry and radiance of the discourse.’

- Michel Bernstein