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Schnabel: Schubert – Impromptus D899 & 935 (FLAC)

Schnabel: Schubert - Impromptus D899 & 935 (FLAC)
Schnabel: Schubert – Impromptus D899 & 935 (FLAC)

Composer: Franz Peter Schubert
Performer: Artur Schnabel
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Warner
Catalogue: 5868332
Release: 2005
Size: 179 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: cover

4 Impromptus, Op. 90, D. 899
01. No. 1 in C Minor
02. No. 2 in E-Flat Major
03. No. 3 in G-Flat Major
04. No. 4 in A-Flat Major

4 Impromptus, Op. Posth. 142, D. 935
05. No. 1 in F Minor
06. No. 2 in A-Flat Major
07. No. 3 in B-Flat Major
08. No. 4 in F Minor

09. Allegretto for Piano in C Minor, D. 915

Artur Schnabel once famously characterized the music of Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert as “better than it can be played.” Fellow musicians will know whereof he speaks: the honesty, the intimacy, and especially the profundity of their music often does sound better in the imaginative, insightful, and idealizing inner ear than it does in the outer ear. But, as Schnabel proved throughout his recording career, an inspired performance can sometimes go further, deeper, and higher than the inner ear and glimpse the vision of infinity that lies beneath, behind, and above the music. In these 1950 recordings of Schubert’s Impromptus, Schnabel’s performance are not flawless — there are slipped notes and smudged passages — but his interpretations are just about perfect. In order to catch a glimpse of aural eternity, Schnabel took risks — his hands sometimes seem to be out of sync and his tempos occasionally appear out of control — but the rewards were worth it. There is a dignity, a sincerity, a serenity, a humanity, and an ecstasy to Schnabel’s interpretations that no other pianist has ever achieved. The bonus — Schnabel’s 1939 recording of Schubert’s C minor Allegretto — is tenderly and deeply touching. While EMI’s sound is obviously antique, it is nevertheless real, honest, and true. Everyone who loves Schubert will love this disc.

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