Top positive review
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Sublime music, in deeply humane and rewarding performances
on 13 March 2013
The Violin Sonatas (or Sonatinas, as the first publisher called them) may not be grand works on the scale of the later piano sonatas, but they exhibit the Schubertian virtues of melodic fluency, warmth and perhaps a more human touch than in Beethoven. And they are fun! The 2-disc set also includes the Fantasia in C, a light, sparkling and memorable 25 minute work. In all these, Szymon Goldberg brings clarity, warmth and a lack of flashiness or self-promotion, to present the works for themselves, joyous and balanced, with an equally outstanding contribution from Radu Lupu. For those who have not encountered Goldberg before, suffice to say he was appointed leader of the Berlin Philharmonic at the age of 21, by Furtwangler, in pre-war Berlin, and, escaping Germany before the war, he had a long and successful career as soloist and conductor. Recorded in 1979, the sound here quality is first-rate, warm and rich, among Decca's best.
The surprise coupling is a fairly early recording of the Arpeggione Sonata, played on cello by Maurice Gendron, with Jean Francaix on piano. Although it's a mono recording from 1952, the music-making completely removes any concerns about the sound, which is good enough not to be distracting, and it takes only a few seconds to forget its sonic limitations.
Overall, a bargain, and a great way to discover some of Schubert's lesser-known works. Well worth exploring.