[...] Hartmann rises to the occasion very impressively, and I would rank his interpretation along with the best ones by Clifford Curzon, Alfred Brendel, and Sviatoslav Richter. Musically, he is fully involved with every detail, but without the point-making that some players feel obliged to make. In the first movement he is often as electrifying as Richter, and with a B theme that is totally delicious (as the French would say). In the finale he brings a smile to one’s face from the very first notes, delivered with utter simplicity and charm (it seems that even the greatest Schubert players can’t resist powdering and rouging things up each time it recurs), and the central C section begins as wistfully as I have ever heard it. The finale fade-out is utterly magical. In timing, balances and nuances it is maybe the best I have heard. [...]
This new CD presents examples of three different genres in Schubert’s piano music, avoiding the “war horses” of the concert repertoire and focusing instead on works that reveal Schubert in an inventive and searching light. The 16 Ländler are examples of Schubert at his most playful and light hearted, still rustic, but hinting at the waltzes of Strauss and Lanner. The Sonata in D is one of Schubert’s most forward looking, dressing its structural inventions in some of his happiest sounds, full of excitement, tenderness and rhythm, whilst the Klavierstücke are Schubert’s last thoughts on the Impromptu, reminiscent of the “Winterreise” in their sparseness and hypnotism.
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Meridian CDE 84594 - £12.90 incl. Postage/Packing
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