Throughout 2013, Chamber Music New Zealand's ReCycle Series featured acclaimed New Zealand pianist Michael Houstoun performing
the complete Beethoven piano sonatas. Michael recorded the sonatas with producer Kenneth Young and Rattle engineer Steve Garden,
and the result is a 14-CD set and accompanying 190 page book.
This set of recordings retains the identical concert programming of the ReCycle Series. The fourteen CDs of this album are divided into
seven programmes (or concerts) comprised of two discs that represent the first and second half of each concert respectively. In doing this,
the hope is to offer listeners a sense of the concert experience, but also to retain a carefully curated and very satisfying appreciation of
these remarkable works of musical art.
Michael Houstoun is not only New Zealand's foremost Beethoven pianist, he ranks among the great Beethoven pianists of our age. He
celebrated his 60th birthday with this historic cycle of the Beethoven piano sonatas, a body of work that constitutes some of the supreme
treasures of human artistic endeavour.
Written over the length of Beethoven's creative life – from the early Op 2 dedicated to Haydn to the mighty Op 111, which takes the piano
into the realms of pure imagination – these works constitute the “New Testament” of the piano repertoire.
"Outstanding Beethoven all round. The special attraction is the rare spiritual dimension in Houstoun's playing of the serene finales… It's as
though Beethoven were no longer of this planet when he wrote them.” – The Listener