Notes and Editorial Reviews
Dejan Lazic is one of those pianists who personalizes everything that he does, somewhat like a German stage director who has to have a "concept". Accordingly, the results can be stimulating, or just plain perverse (as in his Ravel recital for this same label). Confronting Schubert's great B-flat major sonata presents a unique series of challenges, because the music itself is so strange, so rich in character, that it tends to be diminished rather than enhanced by an excess of "ideas", if by this we mean something novel or gratuitous imposed for its own sake. The sonata needs to be realized from within, as it were, and met on its own terms. Happily, Lazic clearly understands this and does what any outstanding interpreter
of this music must: he simply loses himself in the work, letting us hear Schubert speak through Lazic, rather than the other way around.
The one quality that's immediately striking about this performance is Lazic's outstanding sense of timing. In the first movement he strikes an ideal balance between Richter's near-static approach and the crisper tempo of, say, Lupu. The music flows onward in a broad river of melody, and although there are a couple of eyebrow-raising moments of exaggerated left-hand staccato in the second subject, nothing interrupts the necessary feeling of forward momentum. Lazic also takes the exposition repeat, crucial in this movement because of the powerful "first time" bars that cast the opening in an entirely new light (particularly that disturbing low trill). In sum, it is a beautifully sustained performance, an adjective that applies equally to the Andante, which is truly "sostenuto", just as the scherzo has Schubert's "delicatezza" without ever turning precious. The finale reveals just as keen a sense of pacing as the first movement, and the tone of Lazic's piano is quite lovely throughout. Clearly, this performance is a major statement.
Lazic's performance of the Moments musicals reveals equal insight. He sees the piece whole, keeping plenty of power in reserve for his gripping traversal of No. 5, and making the final Allegretto of No. 6 a true culmination of the cycle. The A-flat Andantino (No. 2) finds him particularly sensitive to Schubert's gorgeous harmonic palette, those big, rich chords rendered smooth as silk. Lazic always has impressed as an artist of talent and intelligence, even when he's behaving strangely, and it's very nice to learn that he has the taste and restraint necessary to project this music in a manner that's fresh, characterful, and idiomatic. Channel Classics' sonics, whether in stereo or multi-channel formats, are generally excellent, though perhaps a touch too close to the instrument. The microphones pick up some minor breathing and ambient sounds, but it's no big deal when compared to the high level of musicianship on offer. First rate!
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Sonata for Piano in B flat major, D 960 by Franz Schubert
Dejan Lazic (Piano)
Written: 1828; Vienna, Austria
Moments musicaux (6) for Piano, D 780/Op. 94 by Franz Schubert
Dejan Lazic (Piano)
Written: 1823-1828; Vienna, Austria
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