Notes and Editorial Reviews
Allegretto in c. Four Impromptus.
in a. Sonata in A,
See Siang Wong (pn)
SONY 88765445962 (60:40)
In an extensive interview that is included in the notes for this release, Dutch-born See Siang Wong speaks about the music of Schubert in great detail, with sharp insight, and unbridled affection.
Fortunately, all of those qualities are also heard in his beautiful playing of these masterpieces. The magnificent Impromptus and the rhapsodic Sonata, in particular, are rendered with exquisite mastery of Schubert’s worldview; Wong finds precisely the right pacing, an essential key to this music. The flow is natural and enlivened by a corporeal pulse, but it is never rushed. The connection to Schubert’s song writing is unmistakable, which is enhanced by Wong’s lush tonality. There is not a note of playing on this CD that is flashy or self-conscious, which is wonderfully refreshing. He reveals the uniquely Schubertian combination of a deep sense of melancholy and glowing joy, that paradoxical stew of humanity that makes this music great. A handful of pianists can uncover this magical dramatic texture; count Wong among them. I would add that other noted Schubert interpreters, including Imogen Cooper and Mitsuko Uchida, find more sparkle and chiseled texture in their playing, which may be interpreted as more exciting sounding. I certainly would not want to be without the great recordings of either of those superb artists, but Wong’s less assertive approach might well take us closer to the soul of the composer, no small accomplishment.
FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
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