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Schubert: Piano Sonatas D.959 & 960 [Import]

Paul Lewis , Franz Schubert , None Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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"There are many prized recordings of the Beethoven sonatas from past masters and current artists. But if I had to recommend a single complete set, I would suggest Mr. Lewiss distinguished recordings." Anthony Tommasini, New York Times

"One of the most highly prized recording marathons of recent years.... An unmissable benchmark." Gramophone

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Frequently Bought Together

Schubert: Piano Sonatas D.959 & 960 + Schubert: Piano Sonatas, Impromptus & Klavierstucke, d. 840, 850, 894, 899, 946 + Schubert: Piano Sonata D845, Wanderer Fantasy
Price for all three: $58.06

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Product Details

  • Performer: Paul Lewis
  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Audio CD (November 13, 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • ASIN: B00008O6EO
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,028 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Allegro
2. Andantino
3. Scherzo Allegro Vivace - Trio Un Pocco Piu Lento
4. Rondo Allegretto
5. Molto Moderato
6. Andante Sostenuto
7. Scherzo Allegro Vivace Con Delicatezza - Trio
8. Allegro, Ma Non Troppo

Editorial Reviews

Brought back into the active catalog by popular demand, the second Schubert release by the brilliant English pianist Paul Lewis features the composers' sublime late Piano Sonatas D959 and D960. Clearly channeling the musical spirit of his legendary teacher, Alfred Brendel, Lewis finds the heart of these works and instills them with his own brand of unrivaled clarity and virtuosity. Following on Lewis' recent release of piano music by Schubert, this reissue will be welcomed by listeners everywhere.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! October 4, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
These are two of Schubert's most beautiful piano sonatas. Paul Lewis' interpretations are individual and thoughtful, with wide-ranging mood and dynamics. At one moment they are introspective, even gentle; at others incredibly dramatic and forceful. The performances are highly poetic and stimulating. The recorded sound is impeccable. I would regard this as a must-have recording, not to be missed.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once again Lewis proves his rare gifts in Schubert January 19, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The lead reviewer has captured the essence of this superlative Schubert CD, so I can only second his impression of a wide-ranging performance that gives us great variety of mood. The program notes point out that Schubert was plagued by self-doubt when he compared his piano style to Beethoven's, and Viennese opinion was quick to second his doubts. It has taken generations to remove that censure, to finally realize that Schubert, although lacking in the rigors of sonata form, had something deeply personal to say. At this late date, his last three sonatas have emerged not only as masterpieces but as a fund of enigmatic feelings, spun out as if on the spot. This music was taken to be too melancholy and tormented by some contemporaries. Now we hear everything from carefree joy to despair, often in disturbing juxtaposition.

This recording of the last two sonatas, in A major D. 959 and in B flat D. 960, was taped in Berlin in 2002, the year that Lewis turned thirty. The sound is clear and close, the piano is full-bodied in tone. You can't quite turn up the volume to the same level as a piano in real life, but that's a quibble. the interpretations are full of dramatic contrast, at odds with the Schubert style of Lewis's mentor, Alfred Brendel. Among recent young pianists in this repertoire, only Jonathan biss pleases me as much, and Lewis is a notch or two stronger in making Schubert sound like Beethoven's heir. In the A major he might even overstate the case. Pollini manages to be more brilliant and yet more charming. Lewis also decides to fuss with small ritards in the Scherzo that I don't understand, but this is in keeping with a faint sense that he wants to manage the music.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the Best March 13, 2013
Format:Audio CD
I'm not trained in music, and when it comes to solo instrumental music I'm about the last person who ought to be consulted when it comes to judging a performance, I suspect. However, I have to say that all the hype about Paul Lewis seems to be true, at least to my layman's ear. I very much enjoyed his traversal of the Beethoven sonatas, and here with late Schubert -- indeed, about the latest you can get -- I think he does even better. I don't know that I'm willing to put these performances above those of Pollini, but they are certainly outstanding, particularly in the more fragile moments of these works. Composer and keyboard artist combine on this disc to give the essential definition of poetry in sound. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pianist to be watched February 11, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Paul Lewis is an amazing pianist. After hearing him live, recently, I tried to buy one of his CDs at intermission, but they sold out within minutes. This CD, made ten years ago, did not have quite the authority of his live performance, but is excellent none-the-less. I hope he'll record it again, in a few years. It will be interesting to hear a yet-more-mature interpretation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Schubert January 1, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I loved the article about Schubert on NPR about Piano Sonatas D 959 & 960 and things "you don't know about Schubert". I was intrigued and decided to buy this CD. I am not disappointed and it makes my 45 minute journey to school wonderful.
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