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Schubert: Piano Sonatas: No. 16 in A Minor D845 & No. 21 in B Flat Major D960

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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  • Schubert: Piano Sonatas:  No. 16 in A Minor D845 & No. 21 in B Flat Major D960
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Product details

  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Audio CD (4 Feb. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B005HS5RYO
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,143 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
12:38
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2
30
12:08
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3
30
9:37
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4
30
5:19
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5
30
20:32
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6
30
9:46
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7
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4:31
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8
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8:42
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Digital Booklet: Schubert
Digital Booklet: Schubert
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Product Description

1. 1. Moderato
2. 2. Andante, poco mosso
3. 3. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)
4. 4. Rondo (Allegro vivace)
5. 1. Molto moderato
6. 2. Andante sostenuto
7. 3. Scherzo (Allegro vivace con delicatezza)
8. 4. Allegro ma non troppo

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 5 Feb. 2013
Format: Audio CD
Maria Joao Pires is a remarkable Schubert player, in fact I think it is in this composer that she has made the strongest impression, at least on me. Her Mozart and Chopin are wonderful, but Schubert brings out that mixture of shape in the phrase and intensity held over long note values that set her apart, really. I loved her recording of the D. 960 from Erato in the late eighties, along with some two piano music with the sorely underrated Huseyin Sermet, and, perhaps most memorably of all, a version of the G major sonata D. 894, where her control of the intensity through those long phrases, just rocking between two chords, was something quite unheard-of to my ears. I think I will always recall the compelling beauty of that recording as a high point in my own discovery of music. In this new recording she takes me straight back into that world; the A minor has a beginning I struggled to get any poetry into at all in my own fumbling efforts, yet Pires takes out the staccato, lets it gently trail away like an unconscious gesture ending in a kind of dissolving of the tempo, but not enough to undo the sense of the work opening, of everything being to come. It is quite extraordinary. The beauty she attains throughout is something to marvel at, without any grandstanding, yet with a sense of power coming though her conviction in this music, both rapt and reserved. Rhythms are exquisitely sprung, often at a leisurely tempo as in the scherzo of the same sonata. There is a kind of fullness in the balancing of chords that sometimes gives a sense of a kind of opaqueness, particularly where the music is loud, say in the outbursts in the last movement of the B flat. It's as if she is struggling to get round the notes, and the slight sense of congestion is more expressive than any amount of barnstorming.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first review here is so good that it is difficult to do more than second it. The recorded sound is first-rate - clear and full - and I was particularly delighted with the performance of Schubert's last sonata,D.960. Incidentally, the disc is very generously filled: 83 minutes, no less. To return to the music, although D.960 is a favourite piece it is rare to find a fully satisfactory one like Pires's. Even Radu Lupu's version seems a little cold and unspontaneous in comparison. Pires has an unlimited range of tonal shadings and knows exactly how to time a pause while keeping the music flowing. More than ever before, I was made aware of how close this work is to the world of "Die Winterreise". The bleakness and tragedy of the first two movements and the finale are even more striking when set against the delightful, sparkling dance of the third movement.

Recommended unreservedly.
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Format: Audio CD
This is beautiful. In the past I wasn't much of a fan of Schubert's piano music--i.e., I was blind (or deaf or something). For the D960 sonata, I had made various attempts during several decades of listening to classical music with different pianists from Schnabel to Lupu and others, but none made a dent. After a long hiatus, a friend recommended this, pointing out in particular its "singing" quality (his other favorites include Richter). Having listened a number of times now, I can confirm the singing, flowing quality, along with a complete naturalness of utterance and phrasing. I can't give a movement-by-movement comparison here, other than to say that this sounds wonderfully right to me, and in good recorded sound. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
Maria João Pires is proving particularly prolific on record at the moment. After last year's superb Mozart piano concertos with the Orchestra Mozart and Abbado, comes this new disc of Schubert piano sonatas. Next month DG releases a recording of her and Antonio Meneses's January 2012 recital from Wigmore Hall.

Here, she is captured playing two of Schubert's piano sonatas, the late great B flat and the A minor D845. Warm then wary, her reading of the late B major sonata never overstates its case. Her approach works brilliantly in a work of such rigidity and with a vast emotional range. Yet that passive approach yields fewer rewards in the earlier A minor sonata.

Pires rightly refuses to impose an aesthetic on Schubert's piano writing. Emotion and energy is implicit; there is no need to colour in. The effect in the B flat major sonata is one of initially untrammelled domesticity. The sound is slightly dry, though warm, from which the ominous trill in the left hand comes as something of a surprise. These details, articulations and whims within the work are picked out, though never slavishly.

Even the tonal journey within the first movement is allowed to speak of its own accord. Pires is more intent on pondering details of phrasing - beautifully bringing out the middle voicing - than she is in signposting the structure. But, released into the development section, she really allows the melodies to sing, building to a searing climax. It works because Pires has not frontloaded the movement with ponderous asides and pauses.

The occasionally lachrymose slow movement likewise pits passion against something more detached, though Pires's legato playing is sublime both here and in the Scherzo.
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