Author Topic: Franz Schubert  (Read 113362 times)

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DavidW

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #660 on: September 12, 2021, 06:09:36 AM »
On period instruments, Schiff and Badura-Skoda. Bilson should also not be overlooked. On modern instruments I guess Lupu and Endres, plus Badura-Skoda again (not as good as his period instruments set but still very high quality), and Dalberto also sometimes works, although no one still comes close to Schnabel and Erdmann.

I like most of the early sonatas

I haven't heard Bilson or Endres but the rest are my favorites as well.

Offline VonStupp

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Re: Franz Schubert - fav piano sonata set
« Reply #661 on: September 12, 2021, 06:25:31 AM »
I don't understand that comment. I think Kempff's soul is deeper than Schubert's. :)

Indeed, Kempff is a mightily soulful pianist. His Schubert I have always found much brighter and sunnier than some, on the other hand.

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« Last Edit: September 12, 2021, 07:01:50 AM by VonStupp »
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Offline Que

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #662 on: September 13, 2021, 01:54:38 AM »
I believe I've posted on my dissapointment with Badura-Skoda's period cycle before. Superb Schubertians on period instruments are IMO Andreas Staier (Warner/Teldec), who stand comparison with the very best, Jan Vermeulen (complete on EtCetera and incomplete in Vanguard) Alexei Lubimov (Harmonia Mundi). Caveat: I'm not familiar with Bilson - should remedy that!

I truly think Schubert works best on period instruments, but I'm happy to make an exception for Edwin Fischer. Found Schiff's Decca recordings so dissapointing, that I kind of gave up on him and never investigated his period instrument recordings.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 02:00:45 AM by Que »

Offline amw

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #663 on: September 13, 2021, 07:32:33 AM »
You'll probably still disagree with me, but I agree with your dislike of the Schiff Decca recordings, while considering the ECM recordings a much finer achievement—the period instruments he chose (which are also among the best-recorded, at least) seem to have totally transformed his interpretations into something much more to my taste. The ECM recordings remain among the few that set reasonably accurate tempi, exploit the tone colour of Schubert's instruments, and strike an emotional balance, and are typically the one set of recordings I'd recommend to Schiff haters.

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #664 on: September 13, 2021, 07:41:20 AM »
I believe I've posted on my dissapointment with Badura-Skoda's period cycle before. Superb Schubertians on period instruments are IMO Andreas Staier (Warner/Teldec), who stand comparison with the very best, Jan Vermeulen (complete on EtCetera and incomplete in Vanguard) Alexei Lubimov (Harmonia Mundi). Caveat: I'm not familiar with Bilson - should remedy that!

I greatly enjoy everything I've heard by Staier, but he recorded only a few discs of Schubert for Teldec, and they are all out-of-print now. Perhaps I'm missing something.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #665 on: September 13, 2021, 07:58:40 AM »
Staier has the last 3 sonatas, the a minor D 845 and one 4-hand anthology with Lubimov for Teldec and one or two other discs for harmonia mundi. I only know the Teldec but the more recent hm might be more readily available.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #666 on: September 13, 2021, 08:32:24 AM »
I have these 2 by Schiff, both of which are 2 disk sets:




They really are quite nice, and the works on them include all the little pieces which are my favorites; the Moments Musicaux, the 8 Impromptus, the 3 Klavierstücke D 946, as well as the late sonatas and some nice lesser known pieces. He plays them on a Franz Brodmann fortepiano (Vienna, c.1820) has a range of six octaves (contra-F - f 4), and four pedals (from left to right: soft pedal, bassoon, moderator and sustaining pedal) which has a really nice sound. I also have both sets by Vermeulen, as well as his 7 disk box set of the 4-Hand works, the full sets of Badura-Skoda and Bilson. Also have 2 or 3 sets on modern piano, although I haven't listened to them in years, I was fond of the Uchida set back in the day. It is my opinion that very few sets are just plain horrible, they just don't happen to meet ones expectations. That gives you 2 choices, either don't listen to those or else adjust your expectations. :)

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DavidW

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #667 on: September 13, 2021, 08:39:42 AM »
The tagging on the Badura-Skoda set (the PI not the older MI) is so terrible on Qobuz that I might have to buy it on cd just so I know better what I'm listening to.  Don't tell MI! $:)

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #668 on: September 13, 2021, 08:54:57 AM »
I have these 2 by Schiff, both of which are 2 disk sets:




They really are quite nice, and the works on them include all the little pieces which are my favorites; the Moments Musicaux, the 8 Impromptus, the 3 Klavierstücke D 946, as well as the late sonatas and some nice lesser known pieces. He plays them on a Franz Brodmann fortepiano (Vienna, c.1820) has a range of six octaves (contra-F - f 4), and four pedals (from left to right: soft pedal, bassoon, moderator and sustaining pedal) which has a really nice sound. I also have both sets by Vermeulen, as well as his 7 disk box set of the 4-Hand works, the full sets of Badura-Skoda and Bilson. Also have 2 or 3 sets on modern piano, although I haven't listened to them in years, I was fond of the Uchida set back in the day. It is my opinion that very few sets are just plain horrible, they just don't happen to meet ones expectations. That gives you 2 choices, either don't listen to those or else adjust your expectations. :)

8)

That sounds attractive. I have to steel myself to resist...

I have Staier, Uchida, Brendel (2 in his complete box set) Badura-Skoda PI, Kempff. I think that should be enough.  0:)

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #669 on: September 13, 2021, 11:25:57 AM »
That sounds attractive. I have to steel myself to resist...

I have Staier, Uchida, Brendel (2 in his complete box set) Badura-Skoda PI, Kempff. I think that should be enough.  0:)

Yeah, that pretty well covers it. If I were going to get another set on modern piano, I think it would be Kempff. Even though he's not everyone's cup of tea, apparently, I have quite a lot by him and enjoy all of it. Probably won't get anymore though, since in addition to the full sets I have, there are also a piss-pot full of single disks which are also quite nice on any given evening. :)

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Offline amw

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #670 on: September 13, 2021, 12:07:49 PM »
It is my opinion that very few sets are just plain horrible, they just don't happen to meet ones expectations. That gives you 2 choices, either don't listen to those or else adjust your expectations. :)
It's possible my expectations are miscalibrated then. I find that almost every Schubert recording has one of two flaws: the tempo is too slow, or the phrasing is too square and smoothed over. Sometimes a recording can have both flaws, but it's rare for one to have neither. Both types of performance overlook the essential disruptiveness and aesthetic weirdness of Schubert and turn his music into just a series of pretty sounds, and it's very hard to find a recording that, e.g., both takes the first movement of D960 in about 17 minutes with the repeat and makes clear that it is not a song or a lyric intermezzo but in fact an avant-garde piece of "morbid" piano music incomprehensible to most of the composer's contemporaries. Virtually every recording I could suggest to listeners is a compromise position, one that doesn't quite get the essential Schubert qualities but comes closer than the mainstream.

(Not that Schubert's songs are simplistic or regressive either, of course, and singers have to remember that the square phrasing and strophic structures coexist with the radicalism.)

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #671 on: September 13, 2021, 01:03:21 PM »
I'd love to hear more recordings of the G major sonata, D894. I only have one, Marta Deyanova's gargantuan, Brucknerian reading on Nimbus (clocking in at 17 seconds short of an hour  :o) and I think I owe it to myself to hear a more "normal" take. It's a beautiful work.

Offline hvbias

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #672 on: September 13, 2021, 01:15:34 PM »
The tagging on the Badura-Skoda set (the PI not the older MI) is so terrible on Qobuz that I might have to buy it on cd just so I know better what I'm listening to.  Don't tell MI! $:)

If this is the RCA set I consider this very good and for me preferable to the period instrument cycle. Nothing to do with preference for instrument (I desperately want a top tier period instrument cycle), but his playing is just more preferable on the RCA. More brio and forward movement.

For big cycles the ones I keep are RCA Paul Badura-Skoda, Kempff and more recently Daniel Ben-Pienaar. Mostly for the less recorded early and middle sonatas. IMHO you have to go outside the cycles to find truly top tier performances for the more often recorded works, which thankfully we have plenty of!

I can't say I find Staier or Jan Vermeulen's recordings all that interesting. Quite academic and just lacking. The Schiff ECM recordings are top tier, and much better than what he recorded for Decca. I've actually yet to hear a single Decca recording I've preferred to any ECM remake. 

My desert island period disc is Paul Badura-Skoda playing D935 and D899 Impromptus, these I find significantly better than anything on his period piano sonata cycle and hangs with the very best performances regardless of instrument. For me this one is just as essential as his period instrument cycle of the Mozart Piano Sonatas.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 01:19:24 PM by hvbias »

Offline hvbias

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #673 on: September 13, 2021, 01:22:02 PM »
It's possible my expectations are miscalibrated then. I find that almost every Schubert recording has one of two flaws: the tempo is too slow, or the phrasing is too square and smoothed over. Sometimes a recording can have both flaws, but it's rare for one to have neither. Both types of performance overlook the essential disruptiveness and aesthetic weirdness of Schubert and turn his music into just a series of pretty sounds, and it's very hard to find a recording that, e.g., both takes the first movement of D960 in about 17 minutes with the repeat and makes clear that it is not a song or a lyric intermezzo but in fact an avant-garde piece of "morbid" piano music incomprehensible to most of the composer's contemporaries. Virtually every recording I could suggest to listeners is a compromise position, one that doesn't quite get the essential Schubert qualities but comes closer than the mainstream.

(Not that Schubert's songs are simplistic or regressive either, of course, and singers have to remember that the square phrasing and strophic structures coexist with the radicalism.)

I'd be interested in seeing your list broken down by piece if you have one.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #674 on: September 13, 2021, 01:23:16 PM »
I believe I've posted on my dissapointment with Badura-Skoda's period cycle before. Superb Schubertians on period instruments are IMO Andreas Staier (Warner/Teldec), who stand comparison with the very best, Jan Vermeulen (complete on EtCetera and incomplete in Vanguard) Alexei Lubimov (Harmonia Mundi). Caveat: I'm not familiar with Bilson - should remedy that!

I truly think Schubert works best on period instruments, but I'm happy to make an exception for Edwin Fischer. Found Schiff's Decca recordings so dissapointing, that I kind of gave up on him and never investigated his period instrument recordings.

Well, agree w/ Que on the Badura-Skoda cycle, which I do own - his 'original' period instruments despite their restoration (if any?) can sound terrible - just wonder what the performances may have sounded like using modern reproduction fortepianos?  Bottom line is if a PI 'box' at a reasonable price is offered, then I'll be salivating (if the reviews are good) - I know that there are other period options as noted above but nothing seems to be packaged conveniently and inexpensively at the moment - correct me if wrong.  Dave :)

Offline hvbias

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #675 on: September 13, 2021, 01:27:15 PM »
I'd love to hear more recordings of the G major sonata, D894. I only have one, Marta Deyanova's gargantuan, Brucknerian reading on Nimbus (clocking in at 17 seconds short of an hour  :o) and I think I owe it to myself to hear a more "normal" take. It's a beautiful work.

My two favorites in D894 are Lupu and Arrau. I imagine both being on Decca and Philips respectively mean they are still easy to find. I'm not sure if these are normal or not :D

DavidW

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #676 on: September 13, 2021, 02:01:53 PM »
I think I'll listen to some of Bilson's recordings this week or next week along with some of the RCA Badura-Skoda.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #677 on: September 13, 2021, 02:26:56 PM »
Will people please stop recommending disks... I can see bankruptcy threatening.  :'(

Offline Jo498

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #678 on: September 13, 2021, 11:23:13 PM »
I'd love to hear more recordings of the G major sonata, D894. I only have one, Marta Deyanova's gargantuan, Brucknerian reading on Nimbus (clocking in at 17 seconds short of an hour  :o) and I think I owe it to myself to hear a more "normal" take. It's a beautiful work.
Richter's famous recordings are also very slow/Brucknerian although "only" ca. 48 min (26 of which are the first mvmt). I was a bit disappointed by Brendel (there might be several, I think I heard the digital from the 1980s or early 1990s). Lupu or Sokolov are safe choices (ca. 38 min., ~17 min first mvmt, so this is most of the difference to Richter), I don't think I have heard any that I'd consider "fleet" and maybe there isn't any.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

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Re: Franz Schubert
« Reply #679 on: September 13, 2021, 11:34:31 PM »
I am also partial to Pollini’s recordings of the late sonatas.