This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
...Ashkenazy's new release finds him as reliable as ever, and with recording quality to surpass all listed comparisons this too is a most attractive issue. Hearing these performances alongside such fine, yet temperamentally distinctive, Schubertians as Curzon, Pollini, Bishop- Kovacevich (Hyperion) and Perahia (CBS), it is not so much the supremacy of any one of them which is brought home as the range and depth of Schubert's genius.
Like Bishop-Kovacevich, but unlike Brendel and Curzon, Ashkenazy includes the first movement repeat in the sonata, and his tempo is the most leisurely of the four—at 20'34" the movement is virtually as long as the Wanderer Fantasy in its entirety... In the first movement of the Fantasy on the
other hand Ashkenazy is certainly faster than either Perahia or Pollini, and his determination to combine weight of tone with clarity and velocity gives a characteristic vehemence to the fast movements. Every sinew is strained in the scherzo, so that tuning has suffered noticeably by the Last page (Perahia's instrument, it should be said, is imperfectly tuned from the outset), and the fugal finale is no less strenuous... It would be quite wrong though to suggest that fast and furious is the sum total of Ashkenazy's individual response. The veiled opening of the slow movement shows his mastery of the opposite extreme, and even if his energy elsewhere is felt to stray across the border into aggression, the sense of grappling with and conquering a pianistic summit is never less than exhilarating.
-- Joan Chissell, Gramophone [8/1987]
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