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Schubert: Piano Sonatas (DG Collectors Edition) Box set

4.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Schubert: Piano Sonatas (DG Collectors Edition)
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Product details

  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Audio CD (16 Oct. 2000)
  • Collector's Edition edition
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00004SA8A
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,144 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Disc 2
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Disc 4
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Disc 6
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Disc 7
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Product Description

-titolo-sonate per pianoforte completecompositore-franz schubert interpreti-wilhelm kempff (pianoforte)etichetta-deutsche grammophon-n. dischi7data-11 maggio 2000supporto-cd audiogenere-musica da camera------------------branidisco 1ascolta 30''1.1. molto moderatoascolta2.2. andante sostenutoascolta3.3. scherzo (allegro vivace con delicatezza)ascolta4.4. allegro ma non troppoascolta5.1. allegro moderatoascolta6.2. scherzo (allegro)ascolta7.3. adagioascolta8.4. scherzo con trio (allegro)ascolta9.5. allegro pateticoascoltadisco 2ascolta 30''1.1. allegroascolta2.2. adagioascolta3.3. menuetto (allegro)ascolta4.4. allegroascolta5.1. allegroascolta6.2. andantinoascolta7.3. scherzo (allegro vivace)ascolta8.4. rondo (allegretto)ascoltadisco 3ascolta 30''1.1. molto moderato e cantabileascolta2.2. andanteascolta3.3. menuetto (allegro moderato)ascolta4.4. allegrettoascolta5.1. allegro vivaceascolta6.2. con motoascolta7.3. scherzo (allegro vivace)ascolta8.4. rondo (allegro moderato)ascoltadisco 4ascolta 30''1.1. moderatoascolta2.2. andante, poco mossoascolta3.3. scherzo (allegro vivace) - trio (un poco piu' lento)ascolta4.4. rondo (allegro vivace)ascolta5.1. moderatoascolta6.2. andanteascolta7.1. allegro giustoascolta8.2. andanteascolta9.3. allegro vivaceascoltadisco 5ascolta 30''1.1. allegro moderatoascolta2.2. andanteascolta3.3. allegroascolta4.1. allegroascolta5.2. scherzo: allegretto - trioascolta6.3. allegroascolta7.1. allegro ma non troppoascolta8.2. andanteascolta9.3. scherzo (allegretto)ascolta10.4. allegro giustoascoltadisco 6ascolta 30''1.1. allegro moderatoascolta2.2. andante moltoascolta3.3. menuetto (allegretto)ascolta4.4. allegro moderatoascolta5.1. allegro moderatoascolta6.2. andanteascolta7.3. allegroascolta8.1. moderatoascolta9.2. allegrettoascoltadisco 7ascolta 30''1.1. allegro ma non troppoascolta2.2. allegretto quasi andantinoascolta3.3. allegro vivaceascolta4.

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Format: Audio CD
Schubert's Piano Sonatas essentially are rather private and occasionally introspective works. They are more Wigmore Hall than Albert Hall and perhaps this is one reason why they are not so often included in public performances but "Hausmusik" these works are not.

Elliot Richman (in an earlier review to be found at Amazon US) has said "Modern players, despite their steel fingers and elephantine endurance and machine-like (sometimes machine-gun-like) techniques, stand to learn a lot from this old master's art." How true! Similar exemplars of Kempff's less frenetic approach include Clifford Curzon, Friedrich Wuhrer and Walter Gieseking. Perhaps in some measure it is appropriate that these Sonatas are bypassed by a few of today's heavy hitters on the international recital circuit for these intimate works do not respond well to modern robotics. I am reminded of Rosalyn Tureck's observation: "I have seen a diminution of passionate involvement in the art of music and I have seen a crescendo in passionate involvement with careers".

None of the Sonatas was publicly performed in Schubert's lifetime. This is a sad quirk of history and certainly not a reflection of their musical worth. After all, Beethoven had thirty of his Piano Sonatas published posthumously but in my view these lovely, often haunting Schubert gems are deserving of an appreciation very much wider than they seem to have; certainly beyond the B flat major and a couple of others which are better known.

Wilhelm Kempff's performance here is to his customary and uniquely high standard of interpretation and empathetic treatment; that alone makes this set a "must buy".
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Format: Audio CD
As Wilhelm Kempff himself writes, in the short essay contained in the booklet of this CD collection, "Most of [Schubert's] sonatas ought not to be subjected to the glaring lights of huge concert halls. They are confessions of an extremely vulnerable spirit, or more correctly monologues, often whispered so softly that the sound does not carry in a large hall (Schubert reveals his innermost secrets to us in pianissimo)."
Although not obviously technically the most challenging to a virtuoso, the sonatas require immense imagination in interpretation. This collection contains the kind of remarkably personal performance that characterises Kempff's interpretations of piano works of classical and romantic styles. Having come to them admittedly late in his career, Kempff nevertheless has penetrated deep into the world of Schubert in these sonatas, and displays an astonishing understanding of the man in these recordings. He takes his time over the lengthy, deceptively simple phrases, increasing our awareness of Schubert slowly, drop by drop, falling from the keys in a mesmerising, incredible, seam of music.
The piano sonatas represent Schubert's struggle away from his great predecessors, particularly Beethoven. His difficulty in coming to terms with not only their style of composition - intensely dramatic - but also their ideas of sonata form is, perhaps, illustrated in his numerous unfinished sonatas. These have only lately come back into public awareness, having been previously butchered by publishers. In the context of his other piano works, however, they have the potential of giving insight in Schubert's development as a great Romantic composer.
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My greatest disappointment was not hearing Kempff live. I had tickets for a Sunday afternoon recital he was due to give at London's Royal Festival Hall late in his career, and it was only after taking our seats I discovered he had cancelled: we heard Shura Cherkassky instead. He was good - but I so wanted to hear Kempff!

These recordings were made over 4 years in the pianists late 60's/early 70's. The technique is still good - though there is the occasional splash [as in the last movement of D.784]. But their chief value is that Kempff allows us to hear Schubert as his friends must have heard him when he first played them in private. There is nothing at all flashy about the performances, no concert-hall projection, just intimate music making that gets to the heart of these elusive scores. Here we get 18 of the 21 sonatas which survive either complete or as fragments. Missing are sonatas #7 - D.567, #9 - D.571 with D.640 and D.570 i&ii, and #11 - D.613. Those unfinished by the composer are left as torsos, without any moderate [Badura Skoda] or radical [Tirimo] re-constructions and conjectural completions.

There are pianists who play these works with greater [often misplaced] bravura: but none, I suggest, who get to the heart of the music with such directness and selfless simplicity. These are performances to hear and hear again; and they warm the heart as few others can.

Edit: In a recent survey of all available recordings of Schubert's last sonata [D960] for 'Gramophone' magazine, Bryce Morrison chose Kempff's recording as the finest of all. [Kempff, incidentally, includes the first movement exposition repeat which many pianists omit.]
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