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and as for favorites, Op. 101 and 109, the latter despite the mysteries of the last variation. I think Richter has been quoted as saying that people talk about the difficulties of the Hammerklavier but Op. 101 is just as tough. Probably not quite but I certainly feel the bars that have his attention. Waldstein, Pastoral, Op. 14#1, Op. 78. Wow. Richesse.
 

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Impossible to make a choice. Beethoven's piano sonatas are a gold mine.

Opus 31, nos. 2 (Sturm) and 3 (Jagd) have 'always' been 2 favourites.
As has opus 79 (Kuckuck), opus 90 (so beautiful) and 109. The latter goes directly to my heart, whatever that may mean. ;)

But honestly, there are so many.
 

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Here's ranked list of my favourites: ;)

1 - No. 29 "Hammerklavier"
2 - No. 21 "Waldstein"
3 - No. 31
4 - No. 26 "Les Adieux"
5 - No. 28
6 - No. 23 "Appassionata"
7 - No. 32
8 - No. 17 "Tempest"
9 - No. 30
10 - No. 8 "Pathetique"
11 - No. 11
12 - No. 27
13 - No. 7
14 - No. 25 "Cuckoo"
15 - No. 4 "Grand Sonata"
16 - No. 18 "The Hunt"
17 - No. 15 "Pastoral"
18 - No. 13 "Quasi Una Fantasia"
19 - No. 1
20 - No. 3
21 - No. 9
22 - No. 12 "Funeral March"
23 - No. 6
24 - No. 22
25 - No. 2
26 - No. 24 "à Thérèse"
27 - No. 16
28 - No. 20
29 - No. 14 "Moonlight"
30 - No. 19
31 - No. 5
32 - No. 10
 

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Op 109. To me all the late sonatas except this one present listening difficulties, despite their undoubted greatness. I *really* have to be in a certain mood to listen to the entire Hammerklavier (especially the first movement) or Op 111 (again, the first movement yearns to be orchestrated). Again, Op 110 is obviously an astonishing achievement, but I have never 'got it' in some ways. Maybe it's the inwardness? Op 109 on the other hand seems like a perfect expression of the late style, especially of course the last movement. Of the earlier sonatas of course there are so many that one returns to (the Op 10s, the Op 31s), but Pollini playing 'Les Adieux' is always a completely invigorating experience: a shot of pure Beethoven. I'm just glad there are thirty two of them: inexhaustible, even after 30 years of listening.
 

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Since first hearing Myra Hess play it, decades ago, it has been Op. 109. The last movement is a miracle, and few pianists play it to suit me. Some examples: Hess, Barbosa, Kovacevich.
 
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