This review is from: András Schiff - Solo Piano Music (Audio CD)
I've been only impressed by Schiff's playing of Handel's suite no 1, which is amazing: the piano is treated like a hapsichord and it's stunning to hear the cascades of notes, the ornamentation, the improvisatory feeling, the fire with which the piece is played; this same fire is lacking regrettably in the other pieces.
Starting with Haydn, the same improvisatory spirit doesn't work very well here; we've got used over the centuries to a much more sober, cleaner approach, like Brendel's.
The Brahms variations and Reger's are OK, the latter musically difficult and the former technically demanding. Schumann is also well played, and the selection of pieces enable you to compare a late cycle, Gesaenge der Fruehe, with two early cycles, Nachtstuecke and Kreisleriana: the earlier works are much more inspired, whereas in his later years musical inspiration was elusive.
The Smetana polkas are elegant, lyrical, but they lack fire. That's the edge lacking in this compilation.
I will listen to his Handel suite from time to time though!