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Schubert: Piano Sonatas D850 & D784 / Mitsuko Uchida

Release Date: 05/09/2000 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 464480   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Schubert
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A technically effortless performance combining subtlety and playfulness, in which the strong element of physical excitement is never allowed to dominate.

Mitsuko Uchida’s Schubert is never less than wonderfully finished in pianistic terms, and as an interpretation it is only occasionally a little disappointing. In these two latest sonatas she is close to her best. The D major, a product of the composer’s extended summer tour in Austria in 1825, is, as Misha Donat’s essay notes, ‘among Schubert’s sonatas … the most brilliant and extrovert’. With her exceptional finger technique Uchida is able to take its technical demands in her stride (there are several renowned Schubertians of whom this much cannot be said), yet she
Read more never allows physical excitement to become the be-all-and-end-all. She finds playfulness in the contrasting themes of the first movement, and handles the song-like writing of the second and fourth with the expertise of a great Lieder accompanist, each phrase being subtly inflected yet never to the detriment of the long line. To my mind, however, the horn-call-based second theme in the slow movement sounds a little over-excited and more than a little over-pedalled. But when it and the main theme of the movement are superimposed on the final page, Uchida’s tone becomes fabulously well graded. Most memorable of all are the half tones she deploys in the third movement Trio and the exceptional delicacy and refinement of her passagework in the finale.

In the A minor Sonata she brings out the world-weariness of the first movement, the fragile hopefulness of the Andante, and the seething energy of the finale. The contrasting martial theme in the first movement once again finds her a fraction over-excitable, momentarily damaging the broader rhythmic flow on which the power of Schubert’s structures crucially depends. Nor does the difficult finale coda sweep all before it in the exultant way of a Richter.

Uchida remains a good bet. As before she uses a 1962 Steinway, which is just about ideal for Schubert. Once again the recordings, from the Vienna Musikverein, verge on the over-resonant; but in this instance they detract hardly at all from the music or the playing.'

-- David Fanning, Gramophone
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano in D major, D 850/Op. 53 "Gasteiner" by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1999 
Venue:  Grossersaal, Musikverein, Vienna 
Length: 38 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Sonata for Piano in A minor, D 784/Op. 143 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1999 
Venue:  Grossersaal, Musikverein, Vienna 
Length: 23 Minutes 37 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Piano Sonata No.17 in D, D.850: 1. Allegro vivace
Piano Sonata No.17 in D, D.850: 2. Con moto
Piano Sonata No.17 in D, D.850: 3. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)
Piano Sonata No.17 in D, D.850: 4. Rondo (Allegro moderato)
Piano Sonata No.14 in A minor, D.784: 1. Allegro giusto
Piano Sonata No.14 in A minor, D.784: 2. Andante
Piano Sonata No.14 in A minor, D.784: 3. Allegro vivace

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