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Schumann / Schubert: Piano Sonatas

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£7.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details In stock on September 4, 2016. Order it now. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Piano Sonata in A minor, D. 845 - Schubert
  2. Piano Sonata no. 1 in F sharp Minor, op. 11 - Schumann

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful interpretations by Pollini, DGs "Original Series" 13 Mar. 2004
By R. Lane - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This has to be one the 5 best solo piano disks I've ever heard. Actually, I should say that combined with Universal catalog #447451-2 (Amazon asin #B000001GR1), you have two of the best available. The Schubert A minor Sonata D845 was originally coupled with the an equally compelling performance of the famous Wanderer Fantasy. And the Schumann Sonata in F sharp minor op. 11 was originally coupled with the same composer's Fantasie op. 17. Universal originally issued those LPs on CD in their original compilations. Then, when they created the marvelous series on DG called "The Originals", the issued a disk of the 2 Fanatasies, but not the sonatas. I was peaved for several years, for the sonatas are certainly the major attractions to me.

This CD was issued in Europe in 2002, but not in North America.
The Schubert is unmatched by any other performance I have heard. I like the ongoing series of Schubert solo piano works from Mitsuko Uchida (on the Philips label), but for this work, she can't even be counted in the same league with Pollini. Uchida sounds like she's playing on a toy piano when put next to Pollini. The same can be said for Kempff, and numerous others I've heard over the years. Pollini plays with incredible dynamic range. I've never even heard with the biggest orchestra cover such a wide range of tonality.
The Schumann Sonata is my personal favorite though. Pollini captures the same incredible dynamic range as in the Schubert. But in the Schumann, he combines soft, quiet, slow moments of reflection with rip-roaring excitement that will leave sitting on the edge of your seat time and again.
Every time I pull this recording out I am thoroughly captivated by it.
If you can, get both disks. But, if you must have only one, make it the one reviewed here.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schubert, Schumann revealed; incredible 16 July 2008
By Russell I. Burnett - Published on
Format: Audio CD
First, let me address the Schubert sonata included here (A minor, D845). Those who have heard all the Schubert piano sonatas know just how good they are. I return to them over and over; I don't need Pollini to convince me these are some of my favorite works. Notwithstanding, his playing has made me love them even more. This recording of the D845 sonata places it, in my mind, on par with the more-popular final three sonatas (D958-960). As with his other recordings, here he plays with such incredible clarity, refusing to place himself between the music and the listener. By that I mean he plays the notes to perfection, without trying to make the listener pause to realize what a great performer he is. As I listen I hear Schubert, not Pollini, which, paradoxically, leaves me in awe of both Schubert AND Pollini.

As for the Schumann sonata (F-sharp minor, Op. 11), Pollini again amazes me. Before hearing this album I hadn't really fallen for any Schumann piano works. That has all changed. His playing of the Op. 11 convinced me I was missing out on some great music. In other words, the same praise I've given the Schubert sonata above applies to the Schumann sonata as well. Given the high praise for Pollini's other Schumann recordings, I look forward to continuing to discover Schumann through Pollini.

I likewise highly recommend the companion album to this one, where Pollini plays the Schubert Wanderer Fantasy and the Schumann Fantasy.

The sound quality on this album is great; no qualms whatsoever.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two hauntingly beautiful pieces. 25 Jun. 2009
By Abert - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The 'Original' Series of DG endeavoured to restore most, if not all, of the sterling sounds on LP. This is particularly beneficial to pianists such as Pollini and Emil Gillels, who are great tone painters of the keyboard.
Of the two recordings on this album, the No. 16 Sonata of Schubert is more well-known to me than the one by Schumann, but Pollini fully manages to convince me that BOTH pieces are equally beautiful by his immaculate interpretation.
I grew up with Kempff's LP recording of Schubert's D845; hence Pollini's performance really would find no easy favour with me if it is not really sparklingly good. And it IS sparkingly good. The first movement is different from Kempff's with its return section added. The hauntingly beautiful first subject is treated with both poetry and depth, some thing that seldom goes side by side on the pianoforte. It isn't melodramatic like some interpretation, but nonetheless lends plenty of room for the listener's imagination on this beautiful theme.
However, what really marvels me (and for that matter, Pollini's has a clear edge over Kempff's)is the fourth movement's wildly rhapsodic theme that Pollini brings to live as no way did Kempff in his reading. I would say that this D845 alone is worth the price of this CD.
Then the second work in Schumann's Sonata. Pollini wastes no time in convincing listeners that he IS the great romanticist, on top of what many terms him the 'true modernist'. His uncanny ability in tone painting fits the work to a "T", and even if Schumann normally finds little favour by the average pianist, it never is the case with Pollini.
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