Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Finest Schubert Ever!...
Sébastien Melmoth | Hôtel d'Alsace, PARIS | 11/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
Critics were unsure of themselves when this set appeared, because it was so utterly remarkable.
Firstly, Schiff went to the national library in Vienna to research Schubert's original manuscripts: this is significant because even the finest published editions contain mistakes in expressive orthography. Schiff explains that many of Schubert's manual notations are so microscopic that they have been easily mistaken. Through his vital studies, Schiff brings us an unparalleled new reading and realization.
Schiff takes all repeats, shunning to cut anything: he sees this as imperative to Schubert's musical architechtonics--and he is right in doing so.
Thirdly, Schiff purposefully chose to perform on a quintessentially classic Viennese piano: a Bosendorfer Grand Salle. This enormous grand piano has a stronger key action than the Steinway; moreover, the Bosendorfer exibits a remarkably soft, gentle, yet clear pastel tone.
Lastly, Schiff also recorded some significant individual piano pieces which are thought to be movements from "unfinished" sonatas. These are real gems.
Unfortunately, Schiff's complete masterwork recordings were quickly allowed to go out of print by accountants at Decca: an huge loss for art.
The Impromptus are given the same treatment by Schiff: no artist has given them a better performance. Schubert: The Impromptus; Moments musicaux / (late sonatas culled from complete set) Schubert: Piano Sonatas D9.58, D.960, D.959, Impromptus D.899 /
Complete set sold individually:
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonatas, Volume 7 /
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonatas, Volume 3 (D557, D575, D894) /
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonatas, Volume 2 (D566, D784, D850) /
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonatas, Volume 1 /
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonatas, Volume 4 (D568, D958) /
Schubert : Piano Sonatas Vol.6 D279, D625, D960, Andras Schiff /
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonatas, Volume 5
Schiff's Monumental Homage to Schubert
Gregory E. Foster | Portland, ME, USA | 09/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set of recordings, as testified to by Mr. Cesar above, are simply breathtaking, individually, and as a complete traversal of Schubert's finest work for solo instrument. His painstaking preparation and studious forethought shine through clearly, illuminating and bringing to us deeply introspective yet fleet traversals of this amazingly sad, yet wistful, ponderously illuminated and wonderously elated and shot-through, delicately, with wispy tenderness, are simply positive testament to the caliber of this great artist.
These recordings were produced during a period when Mr. Schiff was touring and performing these works, so he was at the very top of his metal in these performances. I know of no other complete or near complete set that beats Schiff to the bar. These recordings are simply the finest documentation of these great keyboard works by perhaps the most romantic of the romantic composers, tragically passing away when he was just reaching the peak of his mature works...it is mind-boggling to wonder about and think what he might have given to us had he lived another 20 or 30 years!
This set, sadly, has been allowed to go out of print and thus it is quite difficult to find, but mark my words, it is truly worth the search and work to find a copy, either new or used. Also, the astute searcher may find the complete set on individual discs if he is willing to search for them.
All this said, I personally find that it is very enlightening to balance one's interpretation against another's...and there is one other set of these works which I heartily recommend, also, which points up and illuminates each other's interpretation of these great sonatas. This is the Michel Dalberto set, on Brilliant, also sadly hard to find, but equally worth the search. Note that he does not displace Schiff in first place, but he gives a worthy interpretation to place against Schiff.
If you can only have one set, it must be the Schiff....if you are fortunate enough to be able to go for a second one, then, by all means, make it the Dalberto.
Ideally, we can only hope and deeply wish that Radu Lupu will get around, finally, to giving us a complete set of these great piano sonatas...this, then, would presumably be the creme de la creme set of Franz Schubert's phenomenally wonderous, beautiful, introspective and wistfully haunting works."