Jacobs is a sharp-witted and perceptive guide to this seminal music. He is wary of the sustaining pedal and this enables the stark originality of Schoenberg's harmonic sensibilities to shine through.
I give five stars despite retaining a minor reservation. Schoenberg was the latest of late romantics. His tunes were often angular and his gestures could be gauche. But the piano often brought out the best in him - in op 11 he could wallow in something close to D minor and then unleash an explosive torrent with dynamics ranging from pppp to fff; he could relax with eighteenth century forms like the gigue and the irresistible musette in op 25; and he could come full circle to write balanced abstract pieces in op 33. Jacobs seems just a little reluctant to relax and let the delicacy of the writing sing through in those relatively unusual moments when one feels Schoenberg was writing in a mood truly at one with himself.
But this is a small concern. If you don't know this music, do give it a try; if you do, listen afresh and wonder what went wrong once the two leading pupils of this visionary man had both died.