WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Schubert: Works For Solo Piano, Vol. 1 / Barry Douglas

Schubert / Douglas
Release Date: 03/25/2014 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10807   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz SchubertCarl Philipp Emmanuel BachFranz Liszt
Performer:  Barry Douglas
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

No sooner did Barry Douglas undertake a Brahms cycle for Chandos than he begins this one devoted to Schubert, starting with the last sonata and the Wanderer-Fantasie, separated by two Liszt transcriptions of Schubert songs. The sonata’s long opening Molto moderato unfolds as if it were playing itself. Fewer dynamic inflections occur than we hear from Leon Fleisher or Leif Ove Andsnes, yet Douglas’ flexible modifications of pulse flow easily and naturally. His unorthodox speeding up of the first ending’s dotted two-note phrases underlines the music’s sudden interruptive impact, setting the stage for a more animated repeat of the exposition.

The Andante sostenuto really moves, too, especially in Douglas’ ardent treatment of the
Read more central A major section. In contrast to the dry-point suppleness that Leif Ove Andsnes brings to the Scherzo, Douglas uses dabs of sustain pedal to lift the high-register main theme several more notches above ground, while saving just a few strategic heavy accents for the Trio section’s off-beat bass notes. The finale is consistently taut and texturally clear, with unusual distinction to the scurrying left-hand accompaniments.

If Douglas doesn’t grasp the Wanderer-Fantasie’s thick chordal tuttis and gnarly figurations with the ferocity of Richter’s still amazing 1963 EMI studio recording (few do, to be fair!), his technical assurance and symphonic projection of structure and tempo nevertheless prove impressive. A cogent example of what I mean occurs in the Adagio variations, where Douglas’ previously discussed strong left hand returns as an anchoring focal point around which the Adagio’s decorative right-hand runs dance.

In Liszt’s transcription of “Ungeduld” from Die schöne Müllerin, Douglas’ emphatic articulation of the triplet chord accompaniment hammers the point home to a fault, whereas Leslie Howard’s gentler precision allows the melody to soar more effectively. Conversely, Douglas’ otherwordly legato phrasing in “Du bist die Ruh” nearly makes you forget the original vocal setting. In sum, Douglas’ intelligent virtuosity and individually idiomatic Schubertian voice bode well for Volume 2 and beyond.

-- ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano in B flat major, D 960 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Barry Douglas (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1828; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Fantasy for Piano in C major, D 760/Op. 15 "Wanderer" by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Barry Douglas (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Ungeduld (Schubert, 1st version) for Piano, S 563 no 5 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Barry Douglas (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Hungary 
4.
Du bist die Ruh' (Schubert) for Piano, S 558 no 3 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Barry Douglas (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837-1838; France 

Sound Samples

Piano Sonata No. 21 in B-Flat Major, D. 960: I. Molto moderato
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B-Flat Major, D. 960: II. Andante sostenuto
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B-Flat Major, D. 960: III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace con delicatezza
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B-Flat Major, D. 960: IV. Allegro ma non troppo
12 Lieder von Schubert, S558/R243: No. 3. Du bist die Ruh
6 Melodien von Franz Schubert, S563/R248: No. 5. Ungeduld
Fantasy in C Major, Op. 15, D. 760, "Wandererfantasie": I. Allegro con fuoco ma non troppo
Fantasy in C Major, Op. 15, D. 760, "Wandererfantasie": II. Adagio
Fantasy in C Major, Op. 15, D. 760, "Wandererfantasie": III. Presto
Fantasy in C Major, Op. 15, D. 760, "Wandererfantasie": IV. Allegro

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In