Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Piano Sonatas

Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Piano Sonatas

Article excerpt

Schubert Piano Sonatas--No 16, D845; No 19, D958 Louis Schwizgebel pf Aparte (F) AP133 (70' * DDD)

It seems strange that my first thought on hearing Louis Schwizgebel's Schubert was that it feels insufficiently Beethovenian--or at least less so than we often hear. At the start of D958, cast of course in Beethoven's characteristically stormy C minor, he opts for a slight steadiness in terms of both tempo and dynamics, and retains a carefully regulated touch throughout. For the opening movement of the A minor Sonata, he is clipped and disciplined where many--Paul Lewis is a recent example--are a great deal stormier and stressier. (Lewis is also one among several to espouse a more Beethovenian approach in D958.)

But that's not to say that the pianist confines Schubert to the Biedermeier drawing room. His clarity, matched by Aparte's engineering, doesn't mean a lack of weight or force, his patience doesn't preclude excitement, and the pearly delicacy Schwizgebel gets from his instrument's higher register doesn't mean decorousness, not least because he peppers his light textures with mischievous, stinging accents. …

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