Igor Levit had originally wanted to conclude his grand Beethoven cycle playing all 32 of the composer’s piano sonatas in Lucerne during the anniversary year 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic thwarted his plans. The good news is that this summer he will catch up with the last two installments of the eight-part series – and ascend the “Mount Everest” of piano repertoire with the Hammerklavier Sonata. “It's really a borderline experience in terms of its manual, physical, and emotional demands,” Levit explains. “Not a day goes by that I don't think about this sonata.” But the two works he performs earlier also provide moments of musical bliss. The Op. 90 E minor Sonata, cast in only two movements, beguiles with a rondo that circles merrily around, like an endless melodic loop. Meanwhile, right from the first measure, the A major Sonata, Op. 101, sounds as if it had already begun long before. And its vivid Scherzo, which seems to anticipate Schumann’s Davidsbündler marches, strikes out far into the future.