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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, 26 May 2010
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935 (Audio CD)
Schubert is a composer it is easy to fall in love with - and the more of his music one hears the deeper the love affair. He wrote one of the finest sequences of piano sonatas in the repertoire; nine progressively wonderful symphonies; about 600 songs, few if any of which I would want to be without; a sublime string quintet; 15 lovely quartets, including the unforgettably haunting `Death and the Maiden`; the immortal Trout quintet...as well as sacred music and several undeservedly forgotten operas. All, incredibly, in a too-brief life of 31 years - four younger than Mozart, and about as prolific.
He also managed to compose these eight perfect Impromptus. I have Brendel`s recording, which is all one could wish. However, Radu Lupu`s interpretations are all one could wish and more. This must surely come high in a list of the greatest classical recordings of the 20th century. What it is exactly that Lupu possesses I feel unqualified to say, but let me suggest that, simply, he lives and breathes each note of any music he plays in the richest, most fully human way possible, without once seeming over-didactic or rhetorical; as well as having the most limpid, lingering piano style, whilst never becoming lachrymose.
As for Schubert`s music - this is desert island stuff. I talked of love. Here is music so human, yet so exalted, with - as so often in Schubert - both sun and shade in the mix, and such a wealth of heavenly melody as to amaze the gods.
Try No 5. I know of few more sublime pieces of music. Radu Lupu`s playing is rapt throughout. Obviously, too, a man in love.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavenly Schubert, 2 Mar 2010
By 
S. F. Spooner "sfspooner" (sheffield,england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935 (Audio CD)
I cannot play the piano but listen to it a lot. My favourite composer in this genre is probably Schubert and this is an important disc to me.I do not believe Schubert is about sunshine but also he is not just about pain. The mixture has to be just right.Sometimes i have the energy to listen to Richter - 'heavenly lengths' stretched to almost ridiculous limits. Sometimes I like the joyful approach of Kempff (nothing too complicated) or the more searching playing of Kovacevich but for the Schubert to be just right (for me)it needs to be Radu Lupu. This disc of the impromtus and the four disc set of sonatas are treasure indeed.Sometimes it seems as if you are listening to Lupu playing very privately as if the world outside doesn't exist. Sometimes it is the most beautiful music in the world and sometimes it is the most painful and sometimes it is both together.If ever there was desert island music it is Lupu playing Schubert.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sublime Schubert interpretation, 3 April 2009
By 
Crs Barclay "Chasbarc" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935 (Audio CD)
I heard Schubert's impromptu No 4 in F minor on radio 3 driving to work on a brilliant spring morning this week. The playing was so expressive and moving I almost had to stop the car and just listen. Radu Lupu's Decca recording is a sublime interpretation.Schubert: Impromptus Opp.90 & 142
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Positively enthralling playing that stands apart from the rest, 28 July 2013
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935 (Audio CD)
This disc, recorded in 1982, has been revered ever since it was first issued. As such it is not surprising that it has been chosen, rightly, for inclusion in the short series of Legendary Performances by Decca and been re-mastered using the latest technology.

The disc was always of good audio quality so the differences on this occasion, although apparent, are not as dramatic as many of the remastered discs from the 1950s to 1960s for example. Nevertheless there is a firmer reproduction of the piano timbre and increase of recorded ambiance. I have been happy with the sonic improvements thus obtained.

The playing of Lupu is on an altogether exalted plane. Some of the chosen tempi will appear to be very steady but this is always compensated for by being able to appreciate additional and relevant detail. Lupu also takes a fairly lenient view of basic tempi within a piece and uses subtle rubato as a regular means to bring out all sorts of phrasing characteristics. These pieces thus seem to be almost improvisatory at times with a strong element of inner communication rather than public performance from Lupu.

Throughout the eight pieces these features form a constant on-going characteristic and are applied very subtlety - too much so for individual details to be drawn out for comment or discussion. However, the total effect is considerable and amount to enthralling playing of considerable beauty.

I would suggest that this set of the Impromptus fully justifies its legendary status and as such, the disc merits serious consideration from potential collectors.

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Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:

I thought that you might like to know that before I buy a recording I now look through all the reviews to see if you have posted one. Your assessments and opinions are invaluable. Thank you. (US review)

I particularly like your format of review. They give the prospective purchaser an idea of the style of the playing and relevant comparisons. They are succinct. Keep up the good work! (UK review)

I'm sure there are many other serious collectors, besides myself, who wait for your synopsis and opinion before spending their hard-earned money on new releases...
Thank you (UK review)

I'd also add to this. When you in particular review a particular CD, I pay pretty close attention. I would say the characteristics of your reviews I value the most are the detail and general sense of balance and fairness that comes across. That's a great help. Thanks for taking the time on your reviews. (US review)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 5 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935 (Audio CD)
I used to have this on cassette tape,but thought I would get it again on c.d.A trip down memory lane & was not disappointed
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radu Lupu a classic recording., 14 May 2013
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This review is from: Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935 (Audio CD)
These Schubert Impromptus are a delight. There are of course many recordings of these, but Radu Lupu seems to 'capture' them wonderfully. The classic Decca recordings are still very fresh, and whereas over the years both he and I have aged, these have not! Thank you for these performances, they are treasured.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schubert Impromptus, D.899, D.935, 1 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935 (Audio CD)
I possessed this recording as an LP, and bought it for my grand-daughter, who is learning the piano. I am pleased she has enjoyed it also. Lovely playing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 July 2014
By 
Mr. Christopher Harris "Chris in Brum" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935 (Audio CD)
A master pianist playing wonderful music in a masterly fashion. The recording is excellent too.

Just buy it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Schubert performances from Radu Lupu, 22 Jun 2014
By 
Hywel James "Hywel James" (Devon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935 (Audio CD)
This disc is beautifully recorded by Decca and Radu Lupu's performances throughout are wonderful:sensitive, dramatic, withdrawn and rhetorical by turns.. The Schubert Impromtus D899 and D935 are like a great novel or an epic journey - heard entire they seem to tell a story but not of course in words; they traverse huge distances but not in miles. I recommend the disc strongly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great playing, 14 May 2014
By 
Mr. A. Halstead (Folkestone UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935 (Audio CD)
A wonderful CD very well recorded and produced.
Probably the best interpretations on record of these pieces.
An excellent purchase
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Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935
Schubert: Impromptus, D 899 & D 935 by Radu Lupu (Audio CD - 1999)
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