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Schubert: Piano Sonatas D 845 & D 575 / Mitsuko Uchida

Release Date: 01/11/2000 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 462596   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Schubert
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This new disc is part of a series of Schubert recordings by Uchida, a series that began with her recording of the great Sonata in B?. Susan Kagan reviewed that disc perceptively as usual, and she had reservations. Uchida's pianistic skills were obvious to her, but so were her mannerisms, including her tempo changes. Kagan found the scherzo perfectly satisfying, however. I am sure I would agree.

Certainly the scherzo of the Sonata in A Minor included here is effectively, even brilliantly, played, and yet one might be surprised to hear it after reading the essay by Misha Donat, included in this package, in which he says that "Schubert's scherzos are generally a good deal more gentle than Beethoven's." Not the scherzos
Read more of the Sonata in A Minor, at least as played by Uchida. Her dynamism is well known and clearly on display in the jumpy, tense statement of the stuttering theme, with its heavy chordal interruptions. I am used to hearing Richter play this sonata, and he is even more aggressive, so perhaps my taste is skewed, but I find Uchida's playing here exciting, even the perhaps exaggerated alternations we hear at the beginning of the last movement of the Sonata in A Minor.

Not surprisingly, Uchida plays the Sonata, D 575, with similar conviction and intensity. And yet there's a charm in the way she plays the little folksy theme of the first movement too. Hers is largely a robust, dramatic approach to Schubert. Its gentle moments are always a surprise. She sees, I would guess, Schubert as a grander composer than do most pianists. On these sonatas, she makes her conception work.

-- Michael Ullman, FANFARE [5/2000]

...[Uchida] plays with strength, sensitivity, nuanced phrasing, and an imaginative variety of dynamics and color. She makes much of the expressive pauses in the bleak first move- ment of D845 and deals elegantly with the ingenious variations of II...

-- American Record Guide [5/2000]

...[Uchida brings to this music a] potent blend of lyricism and concentrated intensity...her fine balance between pellucid lyrical beauty and fervent absorption in the music being one of the chief characteristics illuminating her Schubert...

-- International Record Review [3/2000]
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano in A minor, D 845/Op. 42 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Great Hall, Musikverein, Vienna 
Length: 37 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Sonata for Piano in B major, D 575/Op. posth by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Great Hall, Musikverein, Vienna 
Length: 26 Minutes 3 Secs. 

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