Schubert Piano Sonatas

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ravel30
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Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by ravel30 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:22 pm

Dear CMG members,

Almost a year ago, I wrote the following thread

http://www.classicalmusicguide.com/view ... 10&t=32658

in which, thank to your good advices, I mentioned that I obtained a copy of Schubert's complete piano sonatas played by Wilhelm Kempff

Image

I could never say how great I find this box set and how much pleasure I had in discovering the piano sonatas of Schubert. What a fascinating journey I had to carefully listen to these pieces.

I highly value the opinion and knowledge of my friends on CMG and thought that I could ask you a few questions regarding the piano sonatas.

- Am I the only one here who really like these pieces and find a lot of them very deep ?
- Which sonata would you consider your favorite ?
- I really like the set of Kempff and I thought that I may now look for another complete set. Any recommendations ?
- Who is your favorite interpreter of Schubert's sonatas ?
- Any particular recordings of one or several of the sonatas that you would recommend ?
- In term of recent recording of these sonatas (say in the last 20 years), which ones would you recommend ?
- How would you rate Schubert's sonata versus the ones of Beethoven ? Inferior, similar, better ?

Thank you for reading me and for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

All the best,

Matt.

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Werner » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:20 am

Youve discovered a treasure among piano works. The group of Schubert sonatas, while smaller than Beethoven's, strikes me as neither equal,. more, or less valuable that Beethoven's. They are a great body of work, as important artistically as Beethoven's - in my opinion.

The early sonatas, written when the composer was in his Twenties, may not have the depth of the later ones, but all show a gresatly talened young composer. As a matter of fact, Seymour Lipkin, in his program notes for a ycle he did at Hunteer College some years ago, said there really are no late Schubert works, considering that he composer died at thirty-one. He does have in common with Beethoven the set of three final sonatas that each wrote, each, I think showing the pinnacle of each one's art. in this genre Besides these, I have a particular fondness for the G Major, D 850 and D Major, D 784.

There are many available recordings. Donald has played the G Major and recorded the D Major and E Flat Major ones.

I hope you'll expose yourself to as many pf these gems as you can over time, along with all the other great things the literature has to offer
Werner Isler

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:12 am

1 - No
2 - D960
3 - Get individual discs instead.
4 - Richter
5 - Perahia - D958-D959-D960
6 - Brendel - Impromptus on Vox
7 - Different and Equally Good
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by John F » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:35 am

Can't pick just one favorite Schubert sonata, but my desert island choice would probably be the B flat op posth.

I would never "rate" Schubert's sonatas compared with any other composer's, nor Beethoven's for that matter. What would be the point of such judgments anyway?

Artur Schnabel made pioneering recordings of several of the later sonatas, though not the G major and C minor.

Rudolf Serkin's few Schubert sonata recordings appeal to me.

A friend pointed me to Alfred Brendel's recording of the G major, op. 78, and I agree with him that this is the most persuasive version of that less popular sonata. Brendel gave a really fine performance of the B flat in Carnegie Hall some years back, not long before his retirement, but I don't think his recordings of it measure up.

In the mid-1960s when still at his best, Vladimir Ashkenazy made lovely recordings of the A major, op. 120, and A minor, op. 143. His later records, still impeccably played, often don't have much character, possibly because he was recording hours and hours of music that he hadn't really made his own.

And then there's Sviatoslav Richter. I really like his '50s and '60s recordings of middle period sonatas such as the A major op. 120, the A minor op. 42, and the D major op. 53. But he plays the B flat painfully slowly, killing the music with kindness. "Richter the Enigma" is the title of an outstanding film portrait of the pianist, and he was never more enigmatic than here.
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Lance » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:04 am

Hello Matt! Well, you've had a whole year to traverse Schubert's great collection of piano sonatas. As an integral set, Kempff certainly fills the bill with this music. On the other hand, individual recordings will also be most worthwhile finding, especially of your favourite ones. For me, they have always been the opus posthumous ones, particularly the ones in B-flat Major and A Major. Insofar as more contemporary recordings are concerned, i.e., outside of those recorded by Artur Schnabel, I would have to make immedfiately, two recommendations: [1] The B-flat Op. Posth. Sonata, IMHO, has the most introspective recording on records by Clara Haskil in her 1951 Philips recording. It's to die for, actually. [2] The A Major, Op. Posth. Sonata has, IMHO, never had a finer recording than that of Rudolf Serkin on Sony Classical. (He also did a spledid B-flat Op. Posth. as well.) I respond to your direct questions in red, below:
ravel30 wrote:Dear CMG members,

Almost a year ago, I wrote the following thread

http://www.classicalmusicguide.com/view ... 10&t=32658

in which, thank to your good advices, I mentioned that I obtained a copy of Schubert's complete piano sonatas played by Wilhelm Kempff

Image

I could never say how great I find this box set and how much pleasure I had in discovering the piano sonatas of Schubert. What a fascinating journey I had to carefully listen to these pieces.

I highly value the opinion and knowledge of my friends on CMG and thought that I could ask you a few questions regarding the piano sonatas.

- Am I the only one here who really like these pieces and find a lot of them very deep ? No, you are hardly the only one. Many of us here truly recognize and appreciate Schubert's genius in his whole output of the piano sonatas.
- Which sonata would you consider your favorite ? The B-flat Major, Op. Posth Sonata followed by the A Major, Op. Posth.
- I really like the set of Kempff and I thought that I may now look for another complete set. Any recommendations ? I would recommend you now go for individual sonatas of those you like best rather than seek another integrated edition.
- Who is your favorite interpreter of Schubert's sonatas ? Ah, so many. I mentioned Haskil and Serkin for two of the opus posthumous sonatas. I have others but would have to think about it for a while before giving this information.
- Any particular recordings of one or several of the sonatas that you would recommend ? Already mentioned above.
- In term of recent recording of these sonatas (say in the last 20 years), which ones would you recommend ? It is pick and choose and becoming famliar with many of the recordings made in those last two decades. I cannot really answer this question at least at this precise moment.
- How would you rate Schubert's sonatas versus the ones of Beethoven ? Inferior, similar, better ? For me, they are equal with, perhaps, a slight edge or nod to Beethoven for the sheer bulk/quantity of his piano sonatas, each a masterpiece on its own. Schubert was one of the greatest "melodists" of his time. In that sense alone, he would prevail.

Thank you for reading me and for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

All the best,

Matt.
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Holden Fourth » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:13 am

Schnabel probably put Schubert's sonatas on the classical music map and you really have to hear what he did with them. Richter also made some great recordings but they are very idiosyncratic. Lupu also recorded most of them and they make for great listening. You've also mentioned Brendel and I'd also add a number of other pianists to the list. To me, Schubert is a bit like Chopin in that there are a number of different but equally satisfying ways to interpret his music. This said, go for Lance's suggestion and seek out individual performances

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by stenka razin » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:16 am

1 - Absolutely not
2 - D960
3 - Uchida
4 - Schnabel
5 - Pollini - D958-D959-D960
6 - Uchida-D959
7 - Equally brilliant, but totally different from Beethoven's titanic set.
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by slofstra » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:42 am

I have spent quite a bit of time listening to Schubert's late piano sonatas in the last couple of years. Now that you have a complete set I wouldn't buy any more complete sets. Buy a variety of recorded material, since many great Schubert pianists, in fact most, did not record complete sets. My favourites are Richter and Radu Lupu. Both have sets of the late sonatas at reasonable prices. I also like Brendel, Andsnes and Uchida (not as much). Don't overlook the other Schubertian solo piano music: the Impromptus and Moments Musicaux.

However, I recently obtained one recording that completely stands out from the others. This is Annie Fischer's recording of D.960 couple with Liszt's Piano Sonata s. 178. It took amazon 3-4 months to get this to me, and I had to keep responding to emails to tell them, yes, I really did want this. So don't buy it from them, get it from arkivmusic. It's full price, but worth every penny, and will run circles around Kempff.

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Ted Quanrud » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:48 am

Hi Matt --

- Am I the only one here who really like these pieces and find a lot of them very deep ?
No, but welcome to the club :D
- Which sonata would you consider your favorite?
The B-flat, D.960 is for me the most sublime sonata by any composer
- I really like the set of Kempff and I thought that I may now look for another complete set. Any recommendations?
No. Now's the time to start collecting individual CDs.
- Who is your favorite interpreter of Schubert's sonatas?
The usual suspects -- Schnabel, Haskil, Curzon, Kempff, Perahia, Serkin -- but forced to choose one it would be Lupu.
- Any particular recordings of one or several of the sonatas that you would recommend?
Almost any by the seven pianists named in the previous answer.
- In term of recent recording of these sonatas (say in the last 20 years), which ones would you recommend?
I like several by Murray Perahia, Leif Ove Andsnes, Mitsuko Uchida, Alfred Brendel. I hope that Ronald Brautigam and Paul Lewis will record some Schubert, and I've heard the Imogen Cooper's performances are very fine.
- How would you rate Schubert's sonatas versus the ones of Beethoven? Inferior, similar, better?
I don't think any comparison is really valid or serves any purpose.

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by maestrob » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:57 am

Chalkperson wrote:1 - No
2 - D960
3 - Get individual discs instead.
4 - Richter
5 - Perahia - D958-D959-D960
6 - Brendel - Impromptus on Vox
7 - Different and Equally Good
Ditto!

The Kempf set is simply magnificent, as are all which Chalkster mentions above. In addition, I would recommend the Georgian pianist Elisso Wirssaladze, who has a very special touch in everything she does.

I'm not as fond of Uchida in Schubert as others here: I think those are actually her weakest recordings to date in general.

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:03 am

- Am I the only one here who really like these pieces and find a lot of them very deep ?
No
- Which sonata would you consider your favorite ?
D958
- I really like the set of Kempff and I thought that I may now look for another complete set. Any recommendations?
As others have said, you don't need any more complete sets, time to look at individual discs by different interpreters.
- Who is your favorite interpreter of Schubert's sonatas ?
Brendel, Lupu, Perahia, Schiff, Pollini
- Any particular recordings of one or several of the sonatas that you would recommend ?
Pollini's recording of D958-D960 is excellent. He also has a great recording of D845. Lupu has a strong boxset containing many of the late piano works. Brendel's Philips Duo set of the last 3 is great too.
- In term of recent recording of these sonatas (say in the last 20 years), which ones would you recommend ?
Lupu, Perahia, Schiff (Brendel's set was recorded in the late 1980s and thus just misses the cut).
- How would you rate Schubert's sonata versus the ones of Beethoven ? Inferior, similar, better ?
Different and if not equally good, then the next best thing.

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Steinway » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:17 pm

Re Schubert interpretations, read this review about Emanuel Ax's recital on Wednesday.

http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainm ... ubert.html

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Seán » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:16 pm

You have sparked my curiousity Matt. I hadn't considered getting a box set of Schubert's Sonatas but when people here like Schubert's Sonatas every bit as much a Beethoven's then one has to sit up and take notice. Recently, I bought a copy of the Kempff Beethoven Sonata cycle and it is marvelous, really gorgeous music making. So now I'm wondering should I?
Seán

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by John F » Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:12 pm

The Kempff complete set is so inexpensive, and the standard of playing is so high, that even if you don't take to all of the sonatas, it's still a good choice.

If you get it, though, I'd suggest listening to the sonatas in reverse order, beginning with the three great ones composed in his last year. As it happens, this is more or less the order DG have arranged them in the set, so you could just begin with disk 1, which includes the last one in B flat, then disk 2, etc. The reason is that about half the sonatas were composed when Schubert was 20 or younger, and are less absorbing listening than Beethoven's Op. 2, composed in his mid-20s.
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Jared » Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:17 pm

I have to say, this particular boxset has been high on my shopping list for months... the only reason why I haven't purchased it, is because of the infamous 'to be listened to' pile, which has been growing again recently, and it will be some time before I'm able to get to it... I relish the prospect of some time with Schubert's Piano Sonatas during 2011 however... 8)

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by stenka razin » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:01 pm

Seán wrote:You have sparked my curiousity Matt. I hadn't considered getting a box set of Schubert's Sonatas but when people here like Schubert's Sonatas every bit as much a Beethoven's then one has to sit up and take notice. Recently, I bought a copy of the Kempff Beethoven Sonata cycle and it is marvelous, really gorgeous music making. So now I'm wondering should I?

Sean, yes, yes and yes, my friend. Get the Kempff. It is so sensitive and so lovely a super budget box set of divine Schubert. It will not be around too much longer and is well worth the investment. 8)
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by StephenSutton » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:12 pm

Personal favorite: D960
Interpretation: no I am biased and there are many great ones, but read the reviews of Goldstone's versions (including his completion of the unfinsihed 'Reliquie' Sonata - Fanfare found them superior to Uchida etc; by the way Uchida and Goldstone shared, with Radu Lupu and others, a teacher in Maria Curcio (herself a pupil of Schnabel): Image (released on our site yesterday, not in dealers until December or January)
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Fergus » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:39 pm

I would be interested to know of any recommendations for a set or indeed individual works played on a period instrument.

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by arthound » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:03 pm

Fergus wrote:I would be interested to know of any recommendations for a set or indeed individual works played on a period instrument.
Hi Fergus

Andreas Staier has released several well received Schubert CDs - the ones I have are on the Teldec or Elatus labels. I find the slow movements to be particularly moving when played on a period instrument.

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He also plays on this - IMO superb - cycle of Winterreise with Christoph Prégardien.

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Cheers,
Justin

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:22 am

Seán wrote:You have sparked my curiousity Matt. I hadn't considered getting a box set of Schubert's Sonatas but when people here like Schubert's Sonatas every bit as much a Beethoven's then one has to sit up and take notice. Recently, I bought a copy of the Kempff Beethoven Sonata cycle and it is marvelous, really gorgeous music making. So now I'm wondering should I?
I would consider getting the Lupu Decca Solo Recordings Box instead of Kempff's Schubert one, more pianism for the Buck...then pick up Kempff's discs seperately if you want more Schubert...

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... _id=468862
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:25 am

Fergus wrote:I would be interested to know of any recommendations for a set or indeed individual works played on a period instrument.
The Impromptus by Alexei Lubimov is very good, Schubert sounds better on a Modern piano, I think...
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by val » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:27 am

[quote]- Am I the only one here who really like these pieces and find a lot of them very deep ?

No, many people love this Sonatas.To me, after the Lieder and the chamber music, Schubert's piano music contains many of his deepest inspirations.

- Which sonata would you consider your favorite ?

Perhaps the D. 959. But the D. 960 & 850 are also among my favorites.

- I really like the set of Kempff and I thought that I may now look for another complete set. Any recommendations ?

Regarding the 8 last Sonatas, I would chose Brendel.

- Who is your favorite interpreter of Schubert's sonatas ?

Rudolf Serkin.

- Any particular recordings of one or several of the sonatas that you would recommend ?

The Sonata D 850 by Clifford Curzon, the D.959 & 960 by Serkin.

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by bombasticDarren » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:27 am

Generally speaking I love Kempff, Uchida, Pollini and Brendel in the later sonatas

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by gperkins151 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:20 am

- Am I the only one here who really like these pieces and find a lot of them very deep ?

No, I find them very deep as well.


- Which sonata would you consider your favorite ?

D 894 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX4NH7yHFKI

- Who is your favorite interpreter of Schubert's sonatas ?

Sviatoslav Richter - http://www.classicalmusicguide.com/view ... it=Richter

- Any particular recordings of one or several of the sonatas that you would recommend ?

(see above)

- In term of recent recording of these sonatas (say in the last 20 years), which ones would you recommend ?

Brendel in that live Philips Twofer. Also the spectacular Sokolov live D 959 that's been around. PM me if you can't find it. Richter never recorded this work and the Sokolov makes a nice alternative.

- How would you rate Schubert's sonata versus the ones of Beethoven ? Inferior, similar, better ?

Different. I choose to not place one above the other as each has their particular strengths.
George

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by ravel30 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:56 am

Hi,

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I am glad to read that my thread generated so many comments and discussion.

I forgot to mention that I also own the D.958,D.959 and D.960 by Andreas Schiff. I really like those recording two. Specially his D.958. Very interesting. Years ago, I had the chance to attend a live recital and Radu Lupu in which he played the D.850 (or was it the D.894). At the time, I didn't know that piece and enjoyed it greatly live but I only came back to it recently. That concert was in a 1500 seats place and was rather big. I remember at the time thinking that a piece like that would be much better in a smaller venue.

I am now intrigued by his recordings of Schubert as well as those by Pollini, Breandel and a few others. I think that Uchida is very talented but I was so disappointed by her recordings of the Mozart piano sonatas that I am not too sure about her Schubert.

A few of you mentionned the Opus Post. sonatas. Which ones are they exactly (in terms of the D. classification).

I am a long fan of the D.960 sonata. It is the first one that I ever listened to. I always thought that a lot of the music of Schubert is too long for nothing with a lot of repetition of exactly the same thing (1st movement string quintet, piano trio 1 and 2). Quite often, I got tired of it and it kept me away from Schubert at times. For some reasons though, I never got tired of the first movement of the piano sonata D.960. There are a few other pieces like that where I could never get tired of a long movement with lots of repetition (like Beethoven first movement of his violin concerto for exemple).

Also a big fan of D.958 (only 30 minutes long) and lately of D.850. I find the main theme of the 4th movement of the D.850 to be amazing. So simple, yet so extraordinary at the same time (try humming it !!!). I got the theme stuck in my wife's head for several days just after humming it for 2 minutes once. The only time that it happened before with classical music was for the Carmen Suite, with the suite Arlesienne, the Nutcracker and the second movement of Kullervo (I know) :lol: .

Once again, thank you for all your help.

Matt.

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Werner » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:58 pm

Hi Matt: Isn't it fascinating how Schubert takes hold of you - with themes staying in your head, with repetitions and extensions becoming the famous Schubert "heavenly lengths." One could do worse.

With Schiff and Lupu you are talking about some of the finest Schubert players of their day. The "Opus Posth." Sonatas are the final three, D958, 959, and 960.

You might be interested in a two-disk Vanguard album, a reissue of two previously published recordings by Alfred Brendel and Bruce Hungerford, both examples of great Schubert playing. The Brendel disk has the D958 sonata, along with a set of German Dances.

The Hungerford disk starts with the "Wanderer" Fantasy. I don't think he ever recorded this for Vanguard. The recording is from a live performance in Berlin in 1961, issued by Vanguard - with the cooperationof the Hungerford Memorial Foundation - in 1998. The D 959 sonata is the first thing he did record for Vamguard. It's one of the great recorded performances of this work. Included in the original LP was a set of waltzes and German dances selected by Hungerford, which did not make it into the CD reissus.

If one can gather from your remarks and this thread that you'll never get enough of Schubert, this issue will confirm the idea.
Werner Isler

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by slofstra » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:13 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
Seán wrote:You have sparked my curiousity Matt. I hadn't considered getting a box set of Schubert's Sonatas but when people here like Schubert's Sonatas every bit as much a Beethoven's then one has to sit up and take notice. Recently, I bought a copy of the Kempff Beethoven Sonata cycle and it is marvelous, really gorgeous music making. So now I'm wondering should I?
I would consider getting the Lupu Decca Solo Recordings Box instead of Kempff's Schubert one, more pianism for the Buck...then pick up Kempff's discs seperately if you want more Schubert...

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... _id=468862
That is a must have!

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Seán » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:41 pm

slofstra wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
Seán wrote:You have sparked my curiousity Matt. I hadn't considered getting a box set of Schubert's Sonatas but when people here like Schubert's Sonatas every bit as much a Beethoven's then one has to sit up and take notice. Recently, I bought a copy of the Kempff Beethoven Sonata cycle and it is marvelous, really gorgeous music making. So now I'm wondering should I?
I would consider getting the Lupu Decca Solo Recordings Box instead of Kempff's Schubert one, more pianism for the Buck...then pick up Kempff's discs seperately if you want more Schubert...

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... _id=468862
That is a must have!
Thanks Henry I was considering it earlier today, so it's Lupu in preference to Kempff then.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by stenka razin » Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:25 pm

Seán wrote:
slofstra wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
Seán wrote:You have sparked my curiousity Matt. I hadn't considered getting a box set of Schubert's Sonatas but when people here like Schubert's Sonatas every bit as much a Beethoven's then one has to sit up and take notice. Recently, I bought a copy of the Kempff Beethoven Sonata cycle and it is marvelous, really gorgeous music making. So now I'm wondering should I?
I would consider getting the Lupu Decca Solo Recordings Box instead of Kempff's Schubert one, more pianism for the Buck...then pick up Kempff's discs seperately if you want more Schubert...

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... _id=468862
That is a must have!
Thanks Henry I was considering it earlier today, so it's Lupu in preference to Kempff then.

Sean, Kempff is Kempff (lyrical) and Lupu is Lupu (dramatic). Both are distinctly different and yet both are superb. I am sorry, I forgot to include Lupu as one of my favorites. His interpretaions are magnificent and as far as the recordings are concerned, the sound is better for Lupu than Kempff. Either one would be a best buy, my friend. 8)
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Seán » Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:33 pm

stenka razin wrote:
Seán wrote:
slofstra wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
Seán wrote:You have sparked my curiousity Matt. I hadn't considered getting a box set of Schubert's Sonatas but when people here like Schubert's Sonatas every bit as much a Beethoven's then one has to sit up and take notice. Recently, I bought a copy of the Kempff Beethoven Sonata cycle and it is marvelous, really gorgeous music making. So now I'm wondering should I?
I would consider getting the Lupu Decca Solo Recordings Box instead of Kempff's Schubert one, more pianism for the Buck...then pick up Kempff's discs seperately if you want more Schubert...

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... _id=468862
That is a must have!
Thanks Henry I was considering it earlier today, so it's Lupu in preference to Kempff then.

Sean, Kempff is Kempff (lyrical) and Lupu is Lupu (dramatic). Both are distinctly different and yet both are superb. I am sorry, I forgot to include Lupu as one of my favorites. His interpretaions are magnificent and as far as the recordings are concerned, the sound is better for Lupu than Kempff. Either one would be a best buy, my friend. 8)
Yes Kempff is lyrical, his Beethoven is amazing, it's sublime. But if you, Chalkie and Henry agree on Lupu, then Lupu it is so.
Seán

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by slofstra » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:36 pm

Seán wrote:
stenka razin wrote:
Seán wrote:
slofstra wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
Seán wrote:You have sparked my curiousity Matt. I hadn't considered getting a box set of Schubert's Sonatas but when people here like Schubert's Sonatas every bit as much a Beethoven's then one has to sit up and take notice. Recently, I bought a copy of the Kempff Beethoven Sonata cycle and it is marvelous, really gorgeous music making. So now I'm wondering should I?
I would consider getting the Lupu Decca Solo Recordings Box instead of Kempff's Schubert one, more pianism for the Buck...then pick up Kempff's discs seperately if you want more Schubert...

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... _id=468862
That is a must have!
Thanks Henry I was considering it earlier today, so it's Lupu in preference to Kempff then.

Sean, Kempff is Kempff (lyrical) and Lupu is Lupu (dramatic). Both are distinctly different and yet both are superb. I am sorry, I forgot to include Lupu as one of my favorites. His interpretaions are magnificent and as far as the recordings are concerned, the sound is better for Lupu than Kempff. Either one would be a best buy, my friend. 8)
Yes Kempff is lyrical, his Beethoven is amazing, it's sublime. But if you, Chalkie and Henry agree on Lupu, then Lupu it is so.
Not to recant on this, but my comments were in light of the question from Ravel, who already had the Kempff. If you don't have the Kempff, that changes everything ... but I would still get the Lupu. :D And what do I know, I don't even have the Kempff Schubert, but I have his Schumann and Beethoven and can find him a little dry at times. Now, here's another curve: Richter is better than anyone in Schubert. There is a Schubert 2 CD set in 'Richter - the Master' that's very good. I have most of the pianists mentioned in the thread. The only Schubert CD in my collection that I can say I truly dislike is one Volodos Schubert CD.

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Fergus » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:34 pm

arthound wrote:Hi Fergus

Andreas Staier has released several well received Schubert CDs - the ones I have are on the Teldec or Elatus labels. I find the slow movements to be particularly moving when played on a period instrument.

Image

He also plays on this - IMO superb - cycle of Winterreise with Christoph Prégardien.

Image

Cheers,
Justin
Thank you Justin; I had forgotten about Staier and that Winterreise has been on my Wish List for a while now so your double recommendation has been a timely reminder for me :idea: :D

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Fergus » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:41 pm

Chalkperson wrote:The Impromptus by Alexei Lubimov is very good, Schubert sounds better on a Modern piano, I think...
I will probably be expellled by Lance for this but I do not have a lot of piano music in my collection as I am probably the only person on the planet that does not find the sound of a piano overly attractive as a solo instrument (in general). I much prefer to listen to concertos with other instruments, for example. I do like the piano as part of a chamber ensemble though and I have a particular fondness for the sound of the fortepiano.

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:54 pm

stenka razin wrote:Sean, Kempff is Kempff (lyrical) and Lupu is Lupu (dramatic). Both are distinctly different and yet both are superb. I am sorry, I forgot to include Lupu as one of my favorites. His interpretaions are magnificent and as far as the recordings are concerned, the sound is better for Lupu than Kempff. Either one would be a best buy, my friend. 8)
Kempff's Box is excellent but contains many minor works, the Lupu Box has plenty of Schubert as well as other Composers, for someone at Sean's level of collecting I think it a better buy right now, after all, he could also consider Kempff's Schumann Box, recently re-released...
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:55 pm

Fergus wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:The Impromptus by Alexei Lubimov is very good, Schubert sounds better on a Modern piano, I think...
I will probably be expellled by Lance for this but I do not have a lot of piano music in my collection as I am probably the only person on the planet that does not find the sound of a piano overly attractive as a solo instrument (in general). I much prefer to listen to concertos with other instruments, for example. I do like the piano as part of a chamber ensemble though and I have a particular fondness for the sound of the fortepiano.
30 days suspension is a fitting punishment, I think... :wink:
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Seán » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:04 pm

Fergus wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:The Impromptus by Alexei Lubimov is very good, Schubert sounds better on a Modern piano, I think...
I will probably be expellled by Lance for this but I do not have a lot of piano music in my collection as I am probably the only person on the planet that does not find the sound of a piano overly attractive as a solo instrument (in general). I much prefer to listen to concertos with other instruments, for example. I do like the piano as part of a chamber ensemble though and I have a particular fondness for the sound of the fortepiano.
I prefer solo piano to concerto works.
Seán

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Jared » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:24 am

Fergus wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:The Impromptus by Alexei Lubimov is very good, Schubert sounds better on a Modern piano, I think...
I will probably be expellled by Lance for this but I do not have a lot of piano music in my collection as I am probably the only person on the planet that does not find the sound of a piano overly attractive as a solo instrument (in general).

goodness me... I'm surprised by this... :shock:

firstly, because your tastes are generally so broad and encompassing, and secondly because you have a penchant for the Organ..

I on the other hand, find the organ (almost.. I think I might find the accordion rather wearing too, if I tried a whole CD of it) the only instrument in which I genuinely struggle to find any enjoyment out of... :?

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Jared » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:27 am

Seán wrote:I prefer solo piano to concerto works.
Sean, I love both in equal parts... in fact, I have learnt that I could listen to Piano & Violin Concertos until the cows come home (although there are a number of later 20th Century concertos which sound like the cows have already arrived.. :mrgreen: )

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Fergus » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:12 am

Chalkperson wrote:
Fergus wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:The Impromptus by Alexei Lubimov is very good, Schubert sounds better on a Modern piano, I think...
I will probably be expellled by Lance for this but I do not have a lot of piano music in my collection as I am probably the only person on the planet that does not find the sound of a piano overly attractive as a solo instrument (in general). I much prefer to listen to concertos with other instruments, for example. I do like the piano as part of a chamber ensemble though and I have a particular fondness for the sound of the fortepiano.
30 days suspension is a fitting punishment, I think... :wink:
I think that I got away lightly there :lol:

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Fergus » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:19 am

Jared wrote:
Fergus wrote: goodness me... I'm surprised by this... :shock:

firstly, because your tastes are generally so broad and encompassing, and secondly because you have a penchant for the Organ..

I on the other hand, find the organ (almost.. I think I might find the accordion rather wearing too, if I tried a whole CD of it) the only instrument in which I genuinely struggle to find any enjoyment out of... :?
I do not actually dislike the instrument Jared....I like it, as I say, in ensembles and I am just not over fond of the concerto side of things. Funny enough I could listen to Mozart's piano concertos all day!!
I also listen to some, but not a lot of, solo piano music; I prefer when the music is not treated like a semi percussion instrument. I also like to hear period music played on a fortepiano, both in a solo and in an ensemble context.
Yes I do like the sound of the organ; obviosly with all of the stops and the build of the individual instrument it can have a huge range of sonoroties.
I also really like the sound of the harpsichord :D

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Seán » Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:50 am

Jared wrote:
Seán wrote:I prefer solo piano to concerto works.
Sean, I love both in equal parts... in fact, I have learnt that I could listen to Piano & Violin Concertos until the cows come home (although there are a number of later 20th Century concertos which sound like the cows have already arrived.. :mrgreen: )
:lol:
Seán

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by gperkins151 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:34 am

slofstra wrote: Now, here's another curve: Richter is better than anyone in Schubert. There is a Schubert 2 CD set in 'Richter - the Master' that's very good.
I strongly second both points. That Schubert edition of the Master Series has beautiful sound and superb performances. Also, because it was released in the last few years, it is easy to find, unlike many of Richter's Schubert recordings.
George

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Jared » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:02 am

^^ really, this thread gets more interesting by the post... 8)

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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:30 pm

Werner wrote:Hi Matt: Isn't it fascinating how Schubert takes hold of you - with themes staying in your head, with repetitions and extensions becoming the famous Schubert "heavenly lengths." One could do worse.
One of the longest ever "discussions" that I took part in on CMG was with another member who no longer visits here, I suggested that Schubert was a more important Composer than Brahms, we argued for two weeks, but, I still stand by that statement...
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:49 pm

Jared wrote:I on the other hand, find the organ (almost.. I think I might find the accordion rather wearing too, if I tried a whole CD of it) the only instrument in which I genuinely struggle to find any enjoyment out of... :?
I understand your position, but, get either of these recordings, it will change your mind about the Organ...

Bach - Organ Sonatas - Christopher Wrench

http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Organ-Sonata ... 501&sr=1-1

Vivaldi - Organ Concertos - Transcribed by Bach - Gunther Rost

http://www.amazon.com/Six-Concertos-Hyb ... 705&sr=1-1
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Wallingford » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:46 pm

Speaking as one who's played & studied Schubert & Beethoven sonatas to some extent, I'm still forced to conclude it's Ludwig who really cuts to the core in terms of genuine earthly anguish. Look at the Sonata #30 (Op.109), for instance: utterly beautiful, yes, but also, how utterly painful--every inch of the way. But even in late Schubert, as in the A-minor Sonata (D.845, old Op.42), there's a bit of straining in some of the climaxes (like the lumbering repetition of the first movement's coda's concluding phrase). And in the B-flat sonata's last movement, capriciousness is still there--despite that sarcastic main theme teetering between supertonic minor and tonic major.
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Werner » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:20 pm

You have a point, Wallingford, but for the moment I believe the discussion above covered a comparison between Schubert and Brahms. For all my longtime admiration of Brahms, I have to admit that there is something in Schubert - think, once more, of the "hevenly lengths," the surprise modulations, the great font of melody, that somehow goes deep, more so than most. Artful simplicity might be one way of putting it - something that was reflected later in some aspects of Mahler and Bruckner - no copies, certainly, but a reflection that seems to crop up in some of their work.

Your comparison with Beethoven raises another point. Perhaps one can cite the difference in their lives - Ludwig lived longer, giving him the chance to develop more in the way of experience and insights. Of course, this must be speculation - but I don't see the comparison as one of the two being "better," rather, the two being different. Consider the incredible lot of quality being created in ths short span of the lives of these two. With all else, what an age!
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Lance » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:15 pm

I can hardly wait for this one! What a wonderful idea for Goldstone to make this recording in Curcio's honor! Certainly a must-have for piano aficionados.
StephenSutton wrote:Personal favorite: D960
Interpretation: no I am biased and there are many great ones, but read the reviews of Goldstone's versions (including his completion of the unfinsihed 'Reliquie' Sonata - Fanfare found them superior to Uchida etc; by the way Uchida and Goldstone shared, with Radu Lupu and others, a teacher in Maria Curcio (herself a pupil of Schnabel): Image (released on our site yesterday, not in dealers until December or January)
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:33 am

gperkins151 wrote:
slofstra wrote: Now, here's another curve: Richter is better than anyone in Schubert. There is a Schubert 2 CD set in 'Richter - the Master' that's very good.
I strongly second both points. That Schubert edition of the Master Series has beautiful sound and superb performances. Also, because it was released in the last few years, it is easy to find, unlike many of Richter's Schubert recordings.
Lots of his Olympia discs can be found at budget price on Regis or Alto...they have released them all quite recently...
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Re: Schubert Piano Sonatas

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:35 am

Lance wrote:I can hardly wait for this one! What a wonderful idea for Goldstone to make this recording in Curcio's honor! Certainly a must-have for piano aficionados.
StephenSutton wrote:Personal favorite: D960
Interpretation: no I am biased and there are many great ones, but read the reviews of Goldstone's versions (including his completion of the unfinsihed 'Reliquie' Sonata - Fanfare found them superior to Uchida etc; by the way Uchida and Goldstone shared, with Radu Lupu and others, a teacher in Maria Curcio (herself a pupil of Schnabel): Image (released on our site yesterday, not in dealers until December or January)
If you want to try a wild card then search out Aki Takahashi on Camerata... :wink:
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