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Schubert: Wanderer Fantasy, Moments Musicaux, Sonata D 958 / Konstanze Eickhorst

Schubert / Eickhorst
Release Date: 02/26/2013 
Label:  Genuin Classics   Catalog #: 13289   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Schubert
Performer:  Konstanze Eickhorst
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

SCHUBERT Fantasy in C, D 760, “Wanderer.” 6 Moments Musicaux, D 780. Piano Sonata in c, D 958 Konstanze Eickhorst (pn) GENUIN 13289 (79:10)

Konstanze Eickhorst began piano and recorder lessons at the age of five. By the young age of 11 she had been accepted into the studio of Karl-Heinz Kämmerling at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Read more Hanover. For a time she also studied with Vlado Perlemuter in Paris. Like many aspiring performers, international competitions served to launch her career: First prizes at both the Clara Haskil and Geza Anda International Piano Competitions created opportunities to perform at major centers around the world and to work with major artists, among them Christoph Eschenbach, Andrew Davis, and Ingo Metzmacher. In addition to performing, she has also, since the age of 28, taught at her former alma mater in Hanover as well as joining the faculty of the Lübeck Musikhochschule just a few years later.

In the current recording, all dedicated to the works of Schubert, Eickhorst proves herself to be one of the finest pianists of this repertoire alive. And how can I say this based on only one recording? Simple: From her performances it is clear she trusts that Schubert’s music has its own meaning, its own means of communicating his ideas, and its very own spirit. Certainly these works take their impetus from Beethoven, as the program notes argue—the larger works especially are infused with a sense of urgency, a sense of monumentalism—yet there is never a moment when one questions who the composer of these works is: It is Schubert through and through. Her reading of the “Wanderer” Fantasy, for example, is powerful when required, yet is it full of grace as well; there is a sense of tenderness, of personal longing, which is achieved here. Each note is clearly articulated in her performance, yet there are moments where she is able to blend them together to bathe the listener in an overall wash of sound. Where many performers slow down in the more lyrical sections, Eickhorst maintains the pulse throughout. Rather than altering tempo, the pianist here achieves the same effect through tonal shading. Where I find her most impressive is in the slow movement: Here even the highly figurative patterns maintain an evocative lyrical quality, while the movement’s end, rather than shimmering in effect with its numerous tremelandos, dances. Never has the onset of the third movement made more sense than here. The Moments Musicaux are enchanting in their simplicity. Here Eickhorst’s deep sound—rounded, almost bell-like—lends a sense of body to this smaller, yet never lightweight opus. Perhaps my favorite of the set is the fourth. The way in which she suddenly transforms the quasi-Bachian opening into a more fluid, more flowing legato version of the same material—as per Schubert’s own markings—is magical. Again the following D?-Major section has never sounded more natural, more organic than it does here. The return to the minor at the work’s end is reminiscent of one of those haunting postludes in Winterreise . The final piece of the set has a remarkable sense of stillness—it is nostalgic, it is music of hope, yet also of profound sadness. In this performance it is all this and more.

Each and every time I’ve come back to these recordings over the past few weeks, I’ve found new things to listen for, new aspects of the music which I had not always heard. Through and through there is a sense of rightness with this recording—it is a quality that is difficult to put into words, but one that one feels when listening to these performances. Though this is my very first exposure to Eickhorst’s art, it will most certainly not be my last.

FANFARE: Scott Noriega
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Works on This Recording

Fantasy for Piano in C major, D 760/Op. 15 "Wanderer" by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Konstanze Eickhorst (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Reitstadel in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, 
Length: 20 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Moments musicaux (6) for Piano, D 780/Op. 94 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Konstanze Eickhorst (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823-1828; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Reitstadel in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, 
Length: 26 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Sonata for Piano in C minor, D 958 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Konstanze Eickhorst (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1828; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Reitstadel in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, 
Length: 30 Minutes 27 Secs. 

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