6 Stars or More
BLee | HK | 10/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
The saddest Schubert ever! Even sadder and deeper than the rendition by Kocsis! The 4 Ballads each sounds like an epic, a kind of symphonic work interwined with some majestic medieval music. To those who are looking for a princely and yet with a lot of pathos, and those who have an ear for Kocsis/Richter or even Tureck, they shouldn't miss out this one. But to those who are looking for a soothing version, they should perhaps check Arrau's version out and for a more human and philosophical approach, Kempff's version. For the Brahms here, however, some may prefer Backhaus's or even Arrau's version. It depends, and these are definitely very good alternatives.
Note that this is a 1981 Lugano live recording and the sound is more than acceptable. The price is great, and note too that Michelangeli's playing doesn't change that much even after decades."