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Korngold: Complete Piano Sonatas / Michael Schäfer


Release Date: 07/19/2005 
Label:  Profil   Catalog #: 4083   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Michael Schäfer
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

For a detailed musical discussion of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's three piano sonatas, I refer to my review of André de Groote's interpretations . Here I also weighed de Groote's serviceable yet rather monochrome traversals against superior sonic and interpretive competition from Geoffrey Tozer (Chandos) and Matthijs Verschoor (Etcetera). If anything, Michael Schäfer surpasses his distinguished colleagues in several respects. He commands a huge, golden sonority and a supple technique that effortlessly deals with Korngold's thick chords and frequent double octaves. In addition, Schäfer brings a wider range of textural diversity and flexible phrasing to the table, resulting in greater charm and character all around. This chiefly Read more plays out in the first two sonatas' scherzo movements and in the Third Sonata's inner movements.

Following the delightful, unpretentious Op. 19 children's pieces, Schäfer plays Korngold's Tales of Strauss, a potboiler of Strauss-family melodies that proves surprsingly uninteresting in the context of like-minded Strauss concoctions by Rosenthal, Friedman, Tausig, Grunfeld, and others of that ilk. Without taking anything away from Martin Jones' excellent performance on Nimbus, Schäfer's more indulgent, volatile temperament takes top honors. Just compare his impassioned dive into the introductory measures leading into the Blue Danube with Jones' relatively sober approach, and you'll hear for yourself. Profil's sonics may not match Chandos or Etcetera for close-up warmth and richness, but they certainly do Schäfer's terrific pianism justice.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano no 1 in D minor by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Michael Schäfer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in E major, Op. 2 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Michael Schäfer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Sonata for Piano no 3 in C major, Op. 25 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Michael Schäfer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931 
4.
Little Caricatures (4), Op. 19 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Michael Schäfer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; USA 
5.
Tales of Strauss, Op. 21 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Michael Schäfer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927 

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