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Schubert: Piano Sonatas D 784 & D 958 / Paul Lewis

Release Date: 07/08/2008 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi Musique D'abord Catalog #: 1951755   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Schubert
Performer:  Paul Lewis
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Paul Lewis is a young British-trained pianist who has coached with Alfred Brendel and performed with a number of leading European orchestras in recent years. He will make his American debut in New York later this season. On the basis of this recording, I find him a thoughtful and discriminating musician with something interesting to say about two of Schubert's more important piano works. The three contrasting themes of the first movement of the C-Minor Sonata are well characterized, revealing a good sense of drama, a strong lyric sensibility, and a subtle handling of Schubert's sometimes arresting harmonic twists and turns. Not surprising from a student of Brendel, there is a certain amount of point-making (especially in the form of Read more caesuras, commas, and extended rests), and I find that it subtracts from the bigger formal picture here. Happily, the other movements are more straightforward, and the finale is quite riveting in its unflagging intensity. Overall, this is one of the better versions of this dramatic sonata, the others being by Richter, Brendel, and Goode.

In the sustained opening of the A-Minor Sonata, Lewis is careful not the clip the eighth notes of the main theme and to really let his phrase-endings end. In the development section his intense but never pushed music-making brought Furtwängler to mind, as did his careful attention to voicing and dynamic gradations. In his hands, the movement almost sounds orchestral, not like the weak piano transcription it can seem to be in lesser hands. The Andante is also sensitively played, but it doesn't flow as much as it should because Lewis seems to hear it in 4/4 rather than in Schubert's 2/2. On the other hand, the precipitous finale-marked allegro vivace is taken at a rather cautious lilt, perhaps with the treacherous closing octaves in mind. As in the first movement of the C-Minor Sonata, the rhetorical point-making seems to cut the movement up, to stem the flow of urgent ideas. In short, Lewis is a musician of interest, and his version of the C-Minor Sonata is especially worth hearing.

-- Charles Timbrell, FANFARE [5/2002]
reviewing the original release of this title
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano in C minor, D 958 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Paul Lewis (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1828; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 31 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Sonata for Piano in A minor, D 784/Op. 143 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Paul Lewis (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 23 Minutes 29 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Classical Necessity November 1, 2013 By bess holloway (Boulder, CO) See All My Reviews "After watching Paul Lewis perform these works countless times on YouTube, I knew I had to own the recording. Lewis is an artist I have come to respect for his interpretations of Schubert. Add this to your collection even if you have other versions." Report Abuse
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