Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Fantasie, D940

Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Fantasie, D940

Article excerpt


Fantasie, D940. Variations on an Original

Theme, D813. Allegro, 'Lebensstiirme', D947.

Andantino varie, D823

Claire Desert, Emmanuel Strosser pf

Mirare (F) MIR280 (57' * DDD)

Debate often rages here at Gramophone Towers: do piano duets get reviewed in the Instrumental or Chamber sections of the magazine? After all, it's two players, even if it's only one instrument. Perhaps the purpose for which the music was written should dictate. Schubert may have composed many of his duets as teaching tools but his pupils were often young ladies with whom he supposedly sought some sort of romantic entanglement--hence the many occasions on which the two players link arms. So, as music for friends or even (putative) lovers, duets are the purest form of chamber music.

I don't know if there is any such romantic connection between Mile Desert and M Strosser but they offer a finely played programme of some of Schubert's better-known duets--the two masterpieces from the composer's final year, the Lebenssturme Allegro and F minor Fantasie, along with the A flat Variations that Britten and Richter made into a party piece and the little Andantino varie. …

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