This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
In 2004 I raved about Leon Fleisher's return to two-handed repertoire, and in particular his wonderful remake of Schubert's final sonata, the work featured on his 1954 solo recorded debut. Rehearing the latter via Sony BMG/Arkivmusic.com's "original jacket" repressing (I have not heard the earlier United Archives CD reissue) it's clear that Fleisher already had a mature, insightful, and fluid handle on this work. Indeed, my descriptions of the remake's virtues easily apply here, such as the harmonic clarification and dramatic continuity governing the long first movement's well-judged tempo modifications, the slow movement's rock-solid accompaniment upon which the right-hand cantabiles effortlessly interweave, a playful yet
carefully detailed Scherzo, and a Finale that mirrors Schnabel's angular exuberance with cleaner results.
The pianist's remake has the advantage of modern-day engineering, a restored first-movement exposition repeat, and the Urtext B-natural in measure 5 replacing the inauthentic C-sharp. Yet I lean toward the younger pianist's nimbler touch in the Scherzo's outer sections and the Finale's dotted-rhythm octaves. The eight Ländler culled from Op. 171 stand out for eloquent simplicity, impeccable timing, and a genuine, singing legato (try No. 5 in B minor for size). No remastering information is provided, but the sonics reveal a rounder piano tone and more tangible room ambience than some of the relatively flinty, closely miked stereo Fleisher solo discs in this series. A most welcome release!
-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Featured Sound Samples
Piano Sonata in B flat major, D 960: I. Molto moderato
German Dances for Piano, D 790: No 12
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