Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Works for Solo Piano

Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Works for Solo Piano

Article excerpt

Schubert

'Works for Solo Piano, Vol 2'

Piano Sonata No 20, D959. Impromptus, D899

Barry Douglas pf

Chandos (F) CHAN10933 (70' * DDD)

After launching his Schubert cycle in bold fashion with the final sonata, D960, Barry Douglas continues with two other works from the last year of Schubert's life. This is big, bold Schubert-playing, an approach that he applies equally to the Impromptus and the A major Sonata. I have to say right at the outset that I'm not mad about Chandos's recording, which seems over-resonant. That might account for why the 'fingeriness' of the Second and Fourth Impromptus doesn't really come across. Just the briefest of comparisons with Imogen Cooper (Avie, 7/10) or Maria Joao Pires (DG, 5/98) takes you into a completely different world. But Douglas does lend the C minor Impromptu plenty of rhetoric, while the G flat major has a fine eloquence and sense of line. Others colour it more tellingly, though, not least Lupu (Decca, 2/84)--superbly inward and Zimerman (DG, 5/91), who imbues it with a rare depth of sorrow. …

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