Magazine article Gramophone

Reubke: Piano Sonata

Magazine article Gramophone

Reubke: Piano Sonata

Article excerpt


Piano Sonata. Sonata on the 94th Psalm. Adagio

Julius Becker pf

Hyperion [F] CDA68119 (59' * DDD)


Julius Reubke was a remarkable talent whose life was cut tragically sort: he died in 1858 aged just 24. The work by which he is best known, the Sonata on the 94th Psalm, one of the organ's masterworks, and the no less impressive Piano Sonata in B flat minor, make you wonder what he would have achieved had he been spared. The Piano Sonata was completed a year before his death and dedicated to 'his revered master, Franz Liszt', with whom he had begun studies in 1853, the very year in which Liszt's own monumental B minor Sonata was completed. Reubke, clearly, was an attentive and appreciative student, for his Sonata is overtly modelled on Liszt's, a single-movement structure lasting nearly half an hour in three distinct sections linked by recurring motifs. There are even quotes from Liszt's Sonata, a quasi-recitative in Liszt's favourite 'spiritual' key of F sharp major, and page after page of cruelly taxing writing. But for all these superficial similarities, this is a powerful work of great individuality and distinction, and is here given a suitably masterful and breathtaking performance by Markus Becker. …

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