Artur Schnabel

Biography

Born: April 17, 1882; Lipnik, Austria   Died: August 15, 1951; Axenstein, Switzerland  
The present-day listener might be surprised to learn that composition was the favorite musical activity of pianist Artur Schnabel. Teaching came second in order of preference, and performance followed after that. Schnabel was reportedly uncomfortable with public performance as well as with recording, and described the years from 1919 to 1924, when he had withdrawn somewhat from active concertizing to concentrate on writing music, as the happiest Read more of his life.

Schnabel was born in Lipnik, Poland, on April 17, 1882. When he was seven his family took him to Vienna; there he came under the tutelage of piano pedagogue Theodor Leschetizky, who spotted in the young prodigy an unusually deep musicality. It was Leschetizky who steered the boy away from virtuoso showpieces, instead encouraging him to explore the then-neglected piano sonatas of Schubert, introspective and lyrical works that needed sensitive and alert readings to come to life. Schnabel also studied theory and composition with Brahms' friend Eusebius Mandyczewski, and by the age of 19 had composed and performed a large-scale piano concerto.

In 1900 Schnabel settled in Berlin, already a growing center for new music where the forward-looking pianist-composer Ferruccio Busoni held court. Schnabel made the acquaintance of important composers and performers of the day and, through his marriage to contralto Therese Behr, immersed himself in the Romantic song literature. He joined the faculty of the Berlin State Academy in 1925.

Despite his prodigious talents as a musician, Schnabel was always more of a pianist's pianist. Eschewing the audience-pleasing blandishments of flashier soloists, he gave performances that revealed the inner significance of the music. His interpretations of the late, visionary sonatas of Beethoven were spiritual testaments, as can be heard in the landmark recordings he made in 1932 of the complete cycle of Beethoven's 32 sonatas. The company that issued the cycle, His Master's Voice, had had significant success with their subscription-funded recordings made in collaboration with the Hugo Wolf Society of that composer's complete songs, and they looked to repeat their success with Schnabel's studio performances. Although Schnabel greatly disliked the whole idea of recording, he created in HMV's studios one of the most valuable documents in the history of music, treasured not only for its technical artistry but also for the depth of Schnabel's musical insight.

In 1933, Schnabel left Berlin after the Nazi takeover of Germany. By 1939, he had settled in the United States, where he took citizenship and taught at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor; he continued to record, but the commercial pressures of the American music industry were uncongenial for him. Though he maintained a home in New York City, he returned to Europe after World War II. In addition to his many recordings (he made far more, and with far more substantial repertoire, than such illustrious contemporaries as Rachmaninov and Busoni), Schnabel also prepared an edition of Beethoven's piano sonatas and the Diabelli Variations, and wrote three books: Reflections on Music (1933), Music and the Line of Most Resistance (1942), and the autobiographical My Life and Music (1961). As a composer, he wrote three symphonies, the aforementioned piano concerto, five string quartets, a Rhapsody for orchestra, piano pieces, and songs. His last work was a Duodecimet for strings, winds, and percussion. Most of these works remain unpublished and are only rarely heard; they demonstrate a highly original approach to the modernistic currents that flowed through Europe at mid-century. He died in Axenstein, Switzerland, on August 15, 1951. Read less

There are 18 Artur Schnabel recordings available.

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Biography

Born: April 17, 1882; Lipnik, Austria   Died: August 15, 1951; Axenstein, Switzerland  
The present-day listener might be surprised to learn that composition was the favorite musical activity of pianist Artur Schnabel. Teaching came second in order of preference, and performance followed after that. Schnabel was reportedly uncomfortable with public performance as well as with recording, and described the years from 1919 to 1924, when he had withdrawn somewhat from active concertizing to concentrate on writing music, as the happiest Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Prelude & Fugue in D, BWV 850 ('The Well-tempered Clavier', No.5): Prelude
Prelude & Fugue in D, BWV 850 ('The Well-tempered Clavier', No.5): Fugue
Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue in D minor, BWV 903 (1999 Digital Remaster): Fantasia
Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue in D minor, BWV 903 (1999 Digital Remaster): Fugue
Italian Concerto in F major BWV 971: (Allegro giusto)
Italian Concerto in F major BWV 971: Andante
Italian Concerto in F major BWV 971: Presto
Toccata in C minor, BWV 911: Introduction - Adagio
Toccata in C minor, BWV 911: Fugue I (Allegro) - Adagio
Toccata in C minor, BWV 911: Fugue II (Allegro)
Toccata in D, BWV 912: Introduction (Presto) - Allegro
Toccata in D, BWV 912: Adagio - Fugato - Adagio
Toccata in D, BWV 912: Fugue (Presto)
Concerto No.2 in C for two pianos, BWV 1061: (Allegro)
Concerto No.2 in C for two pianos, BWV 1061: Adagio ovvero Largo
Concerto No.2 in C for two pianos, BWV 1061: Fuga
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op.13 "Pathétique" (1991 Digital Remaster): I. Grave - Allegro di molto e con brio
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op.13 "Pathétique" (1991 Digital Remaster): II. Adagio cantabile
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op.13 "Pathétique" (1991 Digital Remaster): III. Rondo (Allegro)
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op.27 No. 2 "Moonlight" (1991 Digital Remaster): I. Adagio sostenuto
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op.27 No. 2 "Moonlight" (1991 Digital Remaster): II. Allegretto
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op.27 No. 2 "Moonlight" (1991 Digital Remaster): III. Presto agitato
Piano Sonata No. 15 in D Major, Op.28 "Pastorale" (1991 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro
Piano Sonata No. 15 in D Major, Op.28 "Pastorale" (1991 Digital Remaster): II. Andante
Piano Sonata No. 15 in D Major, Op.28 "Pastorale" (1991 Digital Remaster): III. Scherzo (Allegro vivace) & Trio
Piano Sonata No. 15 in D Major, Op.28 "Pastorale" (1991 Digital Remaster): IV. Rondo (Allegro ma non troppo)
Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Op. 53 'Waldstein' (2004 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro con brio
Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Op. 53 'Waldstein' (2004 Digital Remaster): II. Introduzione (Adagio molto) -
Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Op. 53 'Waldstein' (2004 Digital Remaster): Rondo (Allegretto moderato - Prestissimo)
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor Op. 57 'Appassionata' (2004 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro assai - Più allegro
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor Op. 57 'Appassionata' (2004 Digital Remaster): II. Andante con moto -
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor Op. 57 'Appassionata' (2004 Digital Remaster): III. Allegro, ma non troppo - Presto
Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat major Op.81a "Les Adieux" (1991 Digital Remaster): I. Adagio - Allegro "Les Adieux"
Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat major Op.81a "Les Adieux" (1991 Digital Remaster): II. Andante espressivo "L'Absence"
Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat major Op.81a "Les Adieux" (1991 Digital Remaster): III. Vivacissimamente - Poco andante "Le Retour"
Piano Sonata No. 29 in B Flat Major, Op.106 "Hammerklavier" (1991 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro
Piano Sonata No. 29 in B Flat Major, Op.106 "Hammerklavier" (1991 Digital Remaster): II. Scherzo (Assai vivace) - Presto
Piano Sonata No. 29 in B Flat Major, Op.106 "Hammerklavier" (1991 Digital Remaster): III. Adagio sostenuto (Appassionato e con molto sentimento)
Piano Sonata No. 29 in B Flat Major, Op.106 "Hammerklavier" (1991 Digital Remaster): IV. Largo - Allegro risoluto
Piano Sonata No. 27 in E Minor, Op.90 (1991 Digital Remaster): I. Mit Lebhaftigkeit und durchaus mit Empfindung und Ausdruck
Piano Sonata No. 27 in E Minor, Op.90 (1991 Digital Remaster): II. Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorzutragen
Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op.109 (1991 Digital Remaster): I. Vivace, ma non troppo - Adagio espressivo
Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op.109 (1991 Digital Remaster): II. Prestissimo
Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op.109 (1991 Digital Remaster): III. Tema (Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo ) - Variazioni I-VI
Piano Sonata No. 31 in A Flat Major, Op.110 (1991 Digital Remaster): I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo
Piano Sonata No. 31 in A Flat Major, Op.110 (1991 Digital Remaster): II. Allegro molto
Piano Sonata No. 31 in A Flat Major, Op.110 (1991 Digital Remaster): III. Adagio ma non troppo - Fuga (Allegro ma non troppo) - L'istesso tempo di Arioso - L'istesso tempo di Fuga - Meno allegro
Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op.111 (1991 Digital Remaster): I. Maestoso - Allegro con brio ed appassionato
Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op.111 (1991 Digital Remaster): II. Arietta (con variazioni) - Adagio molto, semplice e cantabile
Concerto for 2 Keyboards and Orchestra in E flat K365/K316a (1990 Digital Remaster): Allegro
Concerto for 2 Keyboards and Orchestra in E flat K365/K316a (1990 Digital Remaster): Andante
Concerto for 2 Keyboards and Orchestra in E flat K365/K316a (1990 Digital Remaster): Rondo (allegro)
Piano Concerto No. 21 in C K467 (1990 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro maestoso
Piano Concerto No. 21 in C K467 (1990 Digital Remaster): II. Andante
Piano Concerto No. 21 in C K467 (1990 Digital Remaster): III. Allegro vivace assai
Moments musicaux D780 (1992 Digital Remaster): No. 1 in C major (Moderato)
Moments musicaux D780 (1992 Digital Remaster): No. 2 in A flat major (Andantino)
Moments musicaux D780 (1992 Digital Remaster): No. 3 in F minor (Allegro moderato)
Moments musicaux D780 (1992 Digital Remaster): No. 4 in C sharp minor (Moderato)
Moments musicaux D780 (1992 Digital Remaster): No. 5 in F minor (Allegro vivace)
Moments musicaux D780 (1992 Digital Remaster): No. 6 in A flat major (Allegretto)
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat D960 (1992 Digital Remaster): I. Molto moderato
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat D960 (1992 Digital Remaster): II. Andante sostenuto
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat D960 (1992 Digital Remaster): III. Scherzo (Allegro vivace con delicatezza) & Trio
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat D960 (1992 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro, ma non troppo - Presto
Impromptus D899 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 1 in C minor: Allegro molto moderato
Impromptus D899 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 2 in E flat: Allegro
Impromptus D899 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 3 in G flat: Andante
Impromptus D899 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 4 in A flat: Allegretto
Impromptus D935 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 1 in F minor
Impromptus D935 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 2 in A flat
Impromptus D935 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 3 in B flat
Impromptus D935 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 4 in F minor
Sonata for Keyboard No. 12 in F K332/K300k (1990 Digital Remaster): Allegro
Sonata for Keyboard No. 12 in F K332/K300k (1990 Digital Remaster): Adagio
Sonata for Keyboard No. 12 in F K332/K300k (1990 Digital Remaster): Allegro assai
Piano Quintet in A 'The Trout' D667: I. Allegro vivace
Piano Quintet in A 'The Trout' D667: II. Andante
Piano Quintet in A 'The Trout' D667: III. Scherzo (Presto)
Piano Quintet in A 'The Trout' D667: IV. Tema (Andantino) con variazioni 1-6
Piano Quintet in A 'The Trout' D667: V. Finale (Allegro giusto)
Quartet for Keyboard, Violin, Viola and Cello in G minor K478 (1989 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro
Quartet for Keyboard, Violin, Viola and Cello in G minor K478 (1989 Digital Remaster): II. Andante
Quartet for Keyboard, Violin, Viola and Cello in G minor K478 (1989 Digital Remaster): III. Rondo (Allegro)
I. Allegro brillante
II. In modo d'una marcia. Un poco largamente
III. Scherzo: Molto vivace - Trio I - Trio II - L'istesso tempo
IV. Allegro, ma non troppo
I. Allegro ma non tanto
II. Dumka: Andante con moto
III. Scherzo (Furiant): Molto vivace
IV. Finale: Allegro
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Rondo: Allegro
I. Allegro maestoso
II. Andante cantabile con espressione
III. Presto
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Rondeau: Allegro
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Rondo: Allegro moderato
I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Allegro assai
I. Allegro
II. Larghetto
III. Allegro
I. Allegro
II. Romance
III. Allegro assai
I. Allegro
II. Cantabile
III. Allegretto grazioso
I. Allegro
II. Allegretto
III. Allegro assai
I. Allegro
II. Larghetto
III. Allegretto
I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Allegretto
I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Allegro assai
I. Allegro maestoso
II. Andante
III. Allegro vivace assai
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Rondo: Allegretto, K. 494
No. 1 in F minor
No. 2 in A flat major
No. 3 in B flat major
No. 4 in F minor
I. Allegro vivace
II. Con moto
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
IV. Rondo: Allegro moderato
I. Allegro
II. Andantino
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
IV. Rondo: Allegretto
I. Molto moderato
II. Andante sostenuto
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace con delicatezza
IV. Allegro ma non troppo
Impromptus D899 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 1 in C minor: Allegro molto moderato
Impromptus D899 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 2 in E flat: Allegro
Impromptus D899 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 3 in G flat: Andante
Impromptus D899 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 4 in A flat: Allegretto
Impromptus D935 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 1 in F minor
Impromptus D935 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 2 in A flat
Impromptus D935 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 3 in B flat
Impromptus D935 (2005 Digital Remaster): No. 4 in F minor
I. Allegro affettuoso
II. Intermezzo: Andantino grazioso
III. Allegro vivace
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante un poco mosso
III. Scherzo: Allegro
IV. Rondo: Allegro vivace - Presto
Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major D.850 (1992 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro vivace
Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major D.850 (1992 Digital Remaster): II. Con moto
Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major D.850 (1992 Digital Remaster): III. Scherzo (Allegro vivace) & Trio (L'istesso tempo)
Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major D.850 (1992 Digital Remaster): IV. Rondo (Allegro moderato)
Moments musicaux D780 (1992 Digital Remaster): No. 1 in C major (Moderato)
Moments musicaux D780 (1992 Digital Remaster): No. 2 in A flat major (Andantino)
Moments musicaux D780 (1992 Digital Remaster): No. 3 in F minor (Allegro moderato)
Moments musicaux D780 (1992 Digital Remaster): No. 4 in C sharp minor (Moderato)
Moments musicaux D780 (1992 Digital Remaster): No. 5 in F minor (Allegro vivace)
Moments musicaux D780 (1992 Digital Remaster): No. 6 in A flat major (Allegretto)
Piano Sonata No. 20 in A D959 (1992 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro
Piano Sonata No. 20 in A D959 (1992 Digital Remaster): II. Andantino
Piano Sonata No. 20 in A D959 (1992 Digital Remaster): III. Scherzo (Allegro vivace) & Trio (Un poco più lento)
Piano Sonata No. 20 in A D959 (1992 Digital Remaster): IV. Rondo (Allegretto - Presto)
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat D960 (1992 Digital Remaster): I. Molto moderato
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat D960 (1992 Digital Remaster): II. Andante sostenuto
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat D960 (1992 Digital Remaster): III. Scherzo (Allegro vivace con delicatezza) & Trio
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat D960 (1992 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro, ma non troppo - Presto
Impromptus D.899 (1988 Digital Remaster): No. 1 in C minor
Impromptus D.899 (1988 Digital Remaster): No. 2 in E flat major
Impromptus D.899 (1988 Digital Remaster): No. 3 in G flat major
Impromptus D.899 (1988 Digital Remaster): No. 4 in A flat major
Impromptus, D.935 (1988 Digital Remaster): No. 1 in F minor
Impromptus, D.935 (1988 Digital Remaster): No. 2 in A flat major
Impromptus, D.935 (1988 Digital Remaster): No. 3 in B flat major
Impromptus, D.935 (1988 Digital Remaster): No. 4 in F minor


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