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Schubert: Piano Duets [Import]

Paul Lewis , Steven Osborne , Franz Schubert Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Schubert: Piano Duets + Schubert: Piano Sonatas, Impromptus & Klavierstucke, d. 840, 850, 894, 899, 946 + Schubert: Piano Sonatas D.959 & 960
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Product Details

  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Audio CD (November 9, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B0042ZUNGU
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,089 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Schubert is unusual and indeed unique among composers in that some of his greatest works are written for piano duet. He wrote as much music for duet as for solo piano, and it reaches emotional depths that take this genre far away from its domestic origins. The most celebrated of these pieces, the Fantasie in F minor, with its austere yet heartbreaking opening melody and dramatic double fugue, is one of the great piano achievements of the early 19th century. The rest of the works on this disc are much less well known but equally fascinating. Who better to commit these works to disc than two of the brightest stars in the British piano scene, Paul Lewis and Steven Osborne? As well as their individual achievements, they also have a long-standing friendship and performing relationship, which you will hear reflected in their magisterial performances on this marvelous disc.

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Paul Lewis and Steven Osborne are two of the most lauded pianists in England, both of them are relatively young, and both of them record frequently, e.g. Lewis's complete Beethoven sonatas Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas and concertos Beethoven: Complete Piano Concertos, and Osborne's recording of music by Kapustin (try it, you'll like it!) Kapustin: Piano Music and Alkan Alkan: Esquisses, Op. 63. As far as I know this is the first time the two of them have recorded together. And what a recording this is! Schubert's four-hand duets are rarely heard in concert -- although they are often played at conservatories and by talented amateurs; though they were originally written as Hausmusik (music to be played privately in homes by amateurs) they are not trivial. Indeed, the Fantasy in F Minor is one of Schubert's absolute piano masterpieces, fully equal to any of his better-known works like the sonatas, moments musicaux or impromptus. But the other pieces included herein are wonderful, too. Needless to say Osborne and Lewis play them all gorgeously.

The first piece, the Allegro in A Minor, 'Lebensstürme' ("Life's Storms") has been given a blockbuster recording, live, by James Levine and Yevgeny Kissin; this performance is quite its equal in its drama and is far better sonically. The Andantino varié in B Minor is fairly slight but it is informed by amazingly subtle harmonic and melodic gestures. I immediately played it again to partake of those delights.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Extended Keyboard Music of Franz Schubert January 28, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Paul Lewis and Steven Osborne have gifted us with one of the most satisfying recordings of music from the piano repertoire that is not well known to the public. Yes, the 'Fantasy in F Minor' from this all Schubert program is fairly often performed (at the rare occasion when the recital hall features two gifted pianists), but the remaining works by Franz Schubert will be introductions to many. The concept of one piano four hands was very poplar in the last century for drawing room concerts but these days about the only time we have the opportunity to hear works such as these on this superb recording is at student programs in our colleges and universities. Perhaps this fine recording will change that and create a demand to hear these complex works more frequently.

Much has been written about each of both of the fine pianists - in the media and in reviews of their growing catalogues of recorded performances individually. But there is a magic that happens with the four hand (or 'duet') presentation of works by famous composers, not unlike hearing both chamber works as well as symphonies by the same composer. Lewis and Osborne understand the poetry and the romance of Schubert's works for the piano and together they create an atmosphere and surety of precision and brio that leaves the listener captivated. This is a richly rewarding CD by every standard - the performances are simply magnificent and the recording is perfectly balanced and transparent. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, January 11
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Throughout Franz Schubert's short but fantastically productive (musical) life, he wrote many wonderful works for four (4) hands on one piano that were mainly intended to be played by armatures in their parlors. As is evidenced in this full (over 76 minutes) marvelously played recording that features six(6) piano duets and features the outstanding playing of British pianists Paul Lewis and Steven Osborne, these works were ready for professional performances in concert halls and/or ready to be published or transcribed into any musical genre desired. This is truly a wonderful recording that is delightfully recorded representing Schubert's genius spectacularly. The notes to this recording say that Lewis and Osborne are good friends. That fact is certainly proven in this recording because they seem to be on the same "brain waves" when it comes to playing these lovely works.

Of all the wonderful and wonderfully played works on this recording, I simply adored the "Fantasie in F minor" it is truly gorgeous and played marvelously by Paul and Steven.
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