Notes and Editorial Reviews
Janina Fialkowska’s first-ever solo Schubert release enchants from start to finish. She shapes the exposition of the little A major sonata’s Allegro moderato with a lot of rhythmic freedom, yet this freedom is controlled and governed by the pianist’s highly cultivated sense of timing and proportion. Nor does Fialkowska hold back when dynamics surge. She inflects the Finale in a way that helps to bring out the music’s playful subtext.
Fialkowska imparts similarly flexible give and take throughout the G major sonata’s lengthy Molto moderato, allowing the right-hand filigree to take supple wing. Note also the brisker-than-usual Andante’s vocally-oriented ebb and flow. At first I felt the Menuetto to be a bit overloaded on account
of Fialkowska’s angular, italicized phrasing, yet this approach underscores the music’s minor- and major-key duality. The pianist taps into the Allegretto finale’s whimsical potential by accelerating some of the repeated-note groups and tapering off in certain phrase ends. Such effects may seem mannered on paper, but they actually sound quite magical in Fialkowska’s hands. Even when considering the catalog’s best versions of these works (Richter, Fleisher, and the still-to-be-identified “Joyce Hatto” recording for D. 664; Volodos and Lupu for D. 894), don’t overlook Fialkowska; her thoughtful virtuosity and Schubert’s poetic spirit merge as one.
-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Piano Sonata No. 13 in A Major, Op. 120, D. 664: I. Allegro moderato
Piano Sonata No. 13 in A Major, Op. 120, D. 664: II. Andante
Piano Sonata No. 13 in A Major, Op. 120, D. 664: III. Allegro
Piano Sonata No. 18 in G Major, Op. 78, D. 894: I. Molto moderato e cantabile
Piano Sonata No. 18 in G Major, Op. 78, D. 894: II. Andante
Piano Sonata No. 18 in G Major, Op. 78, D. 894: III. Menuetto: Allegro moderato
Piano Sonata No. 18 in G Major, Op. 78, D. 894: IV. Allegretto
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