Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Piano Sonatas-No 19. D958

Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Piano Sonatas-No 19. D958

Article excerpt

Schubert

Piano Sonatas--No 19. D958; No 20, D959.

Impromptu, D899 No 3

Inon Barnatan pf

Avie [F] AV2283 (72' * DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Barnatan follows acclaimed Avie debut disc with Schubert

Seven years have passed since Inon Barnatan's impressive performance of Schubert's last sonata (Bridge, A/06), one in which Bryce Morrison found much to praise. Barnatan has since switched record companies and is heard here to rather better advantage. What hasn't changed, however, is his sureness of purpose, the sense that he relates utterly naturally to the anguished world of Schubert's final piano pieces. He senses well the music's extremes but these grow from within the notes themselves, rather than being applied from without.

There's no shortage of rhetoric in the C minor (D958); perhaps the Adagio doesn't have quite the degree of beauty found in the readings by Uchida and Lupu, though Barnatan certainly doesn't lack intensity. And in the third movement no one quite matches Brendel (1987 vintage) when it comes to giving the Trio's silences a disquieting edge. The tarantella finale, though, is superb. If no one sounds quite as terrified as Uchida in this chase to the death, Barnatan is still very compelling. …

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