Thursday, May 10, 2012

Schubert: Complete Works for Violin and Piano Vol. 2

“Characteristic Schubert, played with penetrating subtlety by the two young Germans Fischer and Helmchen...The CD ends with the D940 Fantasia for piano duet, with Fischer partnering in a powerful performance: one moment fiery, the next caressing. And all such heavenly music.” --The Times, 22nd May 2010 ****

“They give a magnificent account of this inspired work [the F major Fantasy]...It's a challenging piece...yet Fischer and Helmchen present as fine as any account on disc...They are a marvellous team, evidently giving each other ideas as they go along.” --BBC Music Magazine, August 2010 *****

Schubert’s complete works for violin and piano consist of three “sonatinas” Op. 137 Nos. 1-3 (D. 384, 385 and 408), Rondo Brillant D. 895, the Duo D. 574, and the amazing late Fantasia in D major D. 934. Because these do not quite fill two CDs, Volume 2 includes the Fantasia in F minor for piano duet, with Julia Fischer taking the second piano part. She’s obviously a tremendously gifted artist as the performance is an excellent one in every respect, and you’d never guess that one of the players is not a professional pianist.

That said, it’s the violin and piano works that constitute the principal attraction, and I include both discs together because I can’t imagine anyone interested in one not wanting the other as well. The three sonatinas are not, in fact, all that small, especially the latter two, which have four substantial movements apiece. Like everything Schubert wrote they are melodically generous and lovely from beginning to end. The D. 574 is more ambitious still, and by the time we get to the Fantasia we are talking about miracles. These performances are stupendous: perfectly balanced dialogs between two vibrant young personalities, ideally recorded in a warm acoustic space. There’s no need to say more: just get these discs. -- David Hurwitz,

MP3 320 · 147 MB

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