Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Four Impromptus

Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Four Impromptus

Article excerpt

Schubert Four Impromptus, D899. Six German Dances, D820. Moments musicaux, D780 Lars Vogt pf Ondine (F) ODE1285-2 (67' * DDD)

There's surprisingly little solo Schubert in Lars Vogt's discography, so this Ondine disc is welcome. What it reveals, however, is a pianist whose considerable interpretative attributes now don't seem fully attuned to the composer's more straightforward--or apparently straightforward--utterances. Or at least that seems to be the case in the first three of the D899 Impromptus.

There's no doubting the high quality of the pianism--and Ondine's sound is beautifully resonant and realistic. Much of the playing is forthright and determined. There is some quiet playing of lovely stillness, too, such as in the wistful pianissimo major-key passages in the First Impromptu (at 3'42", for example), even if most drops in volume tend also to herald drops in tempo.

Otherwise I find Vogt's penchant for stop-start pauses, within the context of some generally eccentric rubato, unsettling. He also makes some decisions with regard to voicing which I struggle to make sense of, with inner parts briefly highlighted before sinking back into the texture--at times we lose track of the top line in the G flat Third Impromptu completely. …

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