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András Schiff's series of the complete Schubert sonatas met with highly uneven critical response from volume to volume, and only a few of the discs are still in London's catalog. This volume combines two relatively unfamiliar works with the sunny D. 664, a good performance that doesn't reach the heights of Radu Lupu's recording (also for London). D. 459 isn't really a sonata, but rather five pieces gathered together after Schubert's death. Schiff plays them with relaxed lyricism and makes an effective experience out of them. He also does well with the early D. 157. This disc is a fine Schubert collection, but not a necessary one for the general collector who will need only a good D. 664 and can do without the others. --Leslie Gerber
Top Customer Reviews
The Clementi sonata is very well played, but it's just not my cup of tea.
In his career Michelangeli played quite a lot of Scarlatti sonatas (although, Scarlatti wrote about 600...). A collection of 3 beautiful sonatas is included.
The Chopin sonata may raise some eyebrow. Although it has moments of extreme beauty, there are also some less convincing moments. Michelangeli's rubato sometimes seems a bit too studied, even a bit odd. But decide for yourself.
This is a recording of 1959 and 1961. Sound quality as good as can be expected.
I was also surprised to see Schiff's Schubert sonatas basically out of print and low-priced (at least when I first noticed them on Amazon). My advice? Try them while the price is as low as it is.
"...all of us who saw and heard him perform have our indelible memories of this - difficult - , autocratic, arch-perfectionist of the keyboards. ... for Maurizio Pollini, who studied with Michelangeli shortly after his triumph in the 1960 Chopin International Competition on Warsaw, he represented the - absolute peak of piano playing - ... today, dazzled, provoked and unsettled as we listen to this playing wich, backed by a technique "like steel and mercury", sweeps music clean "of the dulling patina of familiarity", we can only marvel at qualities that challenge our preconceptions at every turn, forcing us to reconsider music we knew intimately, even completely."
Get this cd because Michelangeli's live performances are beyond description!