Customer Review

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but mannered, 30 Aug 2011
This review is from: Mitsuko Uchida plays Schubert (Audio CD)
These are extremely individual and idiosyncratic Schubert performances. If you want a recording that emphasises Schubert's Classicism, look elsewhere - tightness of structure is not one of Uchida's main priorities. Her playing is characterised by breathtaking pianissimos, a wide palette of colours and, more controversially, quite flexible tempos with lots of rubato. Her approach works best in the last Sonata, which receives one of its most beautiful performances on disc, with an ethereal, mysterious first movement and a slow movement that plumbs the depths of despair at Uchida's slow tempo. The last two movements arguably sound anti-climactic after all that intensity, which is why I prefer Stephen Kovacevich's darker, more dramatic interpretation to Uchida's ethereal one.

The Sonatas D958 and D959 also work really well. D958 is very dramatic and quite 'lean' compared to the relatively more indulgent performance of D960. The tarantella of the final movement is here played really fast - this is the only performance I've heard to have conveyed its full terror, which is why it's my favourite. The only disappointment in D959 is the middle section of the Andantino, which sounds a bit too controlled and 'sane' to reveal the full extent of the chaos that Schubert unleashes. But that's a minor quibble in the grand scheme of things.

The rest isn't quite as successful. The Impromptus and Moments Musicaux sound too contrived and self-conscious with Uchida's tempo changes and diminuendos. There are beautiful moments but the pieces really benefit from a more straightforward approach. The same is true of the earlier Sonatas - Uchida's D575 for example sounds too wayward and mannered next to, say, Michael Endres. The less said about the smaller pieces the better - neither the D790 German Dances nor D820 are substantial enough to stand Uchida's dissections.

The 3 stars I gave this are a bit harsh, but I feel a word of warning is needed that this set won't be to all tastes, despite Uchida's unique personality and brilliant execution. By all means go for it, but it would be a good idea to duplicate with others - for example Endres for the earlier Sonatas, Brendel or Lupu for the Impromptus and Brendel for the Moments Musicaux and German Dances.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 May 2013 16:57:31 BDT
J. Severidt says:
Thank you for daring to be critical. Compared to Kempff, Brendel, Schiff, Leonskaja, Lupu and Pires, I'll also place her readings on the more willfull side, along with Pires and Schiff. I find Schubert works best when you trust the notes ans let the music flow. A matter of taste, no doubt.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

4.6 out of 5 stars (9 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,624